On the eve of Hari Raya Aidiladha (19 July), residents of Kampung Titingan were left startled after a loud explosion being heard coming from one of the houses there. The explosion then led to a fire which eventually took 50 homes in the area.
According to Bernama, 2 siblings from the residence was stunned after they heard the explosion before they realise a fire had occurred in front of their house.
In the interview with the local residents, Rusjatimah Saprin, said before the explosion, she was boiling water, while her sister was boiling Buras, a Bugis delicacy to welcome the Hari Raya Aidiladha on the next day. She said it was peaceful at the time too.
“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 said.
Nonetheless, her house was among the 50 houses in Blocks 9, 10 and 11 that were destroyed in the raging fire at 9.30 a.m. yesterday.
Rusjatimah added that the 40-year-old house is a gathering place for her family and i holds many pleasant family memories.
“This is a heavy test, but I accept it and am thankful for being alive. Maybe we will stay with my nephew.” she said. She also mentioned that the incident happened in the blink of a second, leaving her no time to grab her belongings.
In the interview with another local resident, Nurin Raub, 65, she said that she was in her room when her granddaughter, Kasma Samad, 12, suddenly approached her and scream 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.” Nurin said.
Meanwhile, she revealed that she had plans to move to her son’s place in Ranggu with her granddaughter after she lost her husband earlier this year.
While in the interview with Remie Saprin, 64, he said that he did not expect that the house he had been living in with 10 other family members to be destroyed in the fire.
“I went out at 7.15 a.m. 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.” Remie said.
Responding to the tragic incident, he also hoped that the government would provide immediate assistance to all victims of the fire.
Bernama also reported that the 86 heads of families have been registered at the temporary relief centre at the Kampung Titingan community hall while waiting for further arrangements.
Watch a video recorded by a netizen at the scene: