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PUTRAJAYA, 16 March 2017:
The Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department may take a firmer approach if the campaign to install ‘easy to open grilles’ falls on deaf ears among developers and homeowners.
Director-general Datuk Wira Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said the department was still being tolerant and used the advocacy approach to educate target groups on the risks and dangers of installing static grilles – compared to those that could be easily opened from inside.
Static grilles caused occupants to not be able to save themselves nor victims trapped in a fire, he explained.
Wan Mohd Nor also said the department may revise certain regulations to enable action to be taken on those who neglected the installation of grilles that could be easily opened from inside.
“Most grilles are installed for security purposes without considering fire safety aspects that can become a death trap to the occupants of the house,” he reminded.
In DENGKIL, the child who was burnt to death in a fire in Taman Gemilang here yesterday was the foster grandson of a popular economy rice stall operator in Dengkil.
In the 4am fire involving three single-storey terrace houses, the charred remains of Tiew Heng Kai, four, was found lying in a prone position on a mattress in a room.
His foster sister Tiew Kah Ming, five, was rescued by neighbours.
Mohamed Hamzah Ahmad Kutty, who was awakened by thick smoke and explosions from a neighbour’s house, said neighbours tried to rescue the two children by prising open the front door grille.
“The girl was seen running desperately around the house trying to find her way out. Her brother was believed to be still asleep in the middle room.
“It was a heartbreaking to see the little girl crying and begging us to rescue her brother who was still in the house.
“We tried to get into the house but the roof began to collapse and several explosions were heard.”
When the incident occurred, the victim’s parents were not home. The foster father Soon Tiew Cheong, in his 30s, was out to buy food while the foster mother had returned to Indonesia to visit her sick father.
South Selangor Zone Fire and Rescue Department chief Abu Bakar Abd Kadir said the fire was believed to have started from the kitchen of the victim’s house.
The house and a Perodua Kenari car were completely ruined while the houses on the left and right were over 50% destroyed, he added.
The victim’s foster grandfather Tiew Ng Ngu, 66, who lived nearby, said the two children would usually stay in his house when his daughter-in-law went back to Indonesia.
“My son took them home yesterday as he did not want to trouble my wife …I never expected my grandson to go in such a tragic way.”