JOHOR BAHRU: Twenty-one people from five families were left only with the clothes on their backs when fire destroyed their houses in Kampung Sri Dungun, near Pontian, this morning.
Pontian Fire and Rescue Station chief PPGB Azhar Jalil said the fire razed five semi-permanent squatter houses (wood and bricks) near the Sungai Pontian Besar River.
He said five engines and 21 firefighters were dispatched to the scene after receiving a distress call at 6.24 am.
“We were informed that the fire started from the kitchen of one of the houses, before thick plumes of smoke was noticed by residents across the river.
“The firefighting operation ended at 8.35 am today morning. There was, however, no casualties because all the residents managed to escape,” he said when contacted, today.
According to Azhar, the cause of the fire and loss estimates were still under investigation.
Meanwhile, Pontian District Police chief Supt Mustafa Bakri Salleh said the victims comprised four men, five women, six boys, four girls and two elderly women.
They have been placed at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pontian Besar which was opened as a temporary relief centre, he added. — Bernama