Kampung Titingan fire: Residents heard loud explosion

Kampung Titingan fire: Residents heard loud explosion

TAWAU: A loud explosion startled two siblings who were in the kitchen before realising a fire had occurred in front of their house in Kampung Titingan here yesterday morning.

Rusjatimah Saprin, 46, said before the incident, she was about to boil some water while her sister was boiling Buras, a Bugis delicacy, for Hari Raya Aidiladha and the surrounding was quiet at that time.

“Suddenly, we were shocked by the sound of a loud explosion as though it was coming from a cooking gas barrel. I opened the kitchen door and saw the living room of the neighbour’s house was on fire and heard the neighbour screaming for help.

“Seeing the raging fire, I shouted at my sister and three children who were in the living room cleaning the house to flee. I managed to save some personal documents,” she told Bernama.

Her house was among about 50 houses in Blocks 9, 10 and 11 that were destroyed in the fire at 9.30 am yesterday.

Rusjatimah said the 40-year-old house held many family memories and was a gathering place, especially on Hari Raya.

“This is a heavy test, but I accept it and am thankful for being alive. Maybe we will stay with my nephew,” she said, adding that the incident happened in a flash and she did not have time to save other belongings.

As for Nurin Raub, 65, she was in her room when her granddaughter, Kasma Samad, 12, suddenly screamed that there was a fire.

“I was shocked and managed to take my personal documents before my granddaughter pulled my hand and ran out of the house. I could feel the strong heat with a thick cloud of smoke,” said Nurin, who had lived in the house for over 30 years.

She and Kasma plan to stay with her son in Ranggu because she had lost her husband earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Remie Saprin, 64, did not expect the house he had been living in with 10 other family members had been destroyed in the fire.

“I went out at 7.15 am to send my children to the clinic and then went to the market to buy bananas and Buras. I didn’t expect to reach home and see a thick cloud of smoke and raging fire,” said Remie, who planned to live with his children at Batu 8 here.

He also hoped that the government would provide immediate assistance to all victims.

A check by Bernama at 3 pm today found that 86 heads of families had registered at the temporary relief centre at the Kampung Titingan community hall which was opened for the fire victims. –Bernama