Over 100 left homeless as fire destroys workers’ quarters in Labuan

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

LABUAN – A massive fire gutted at least 82 cramped and flimsy construction workers’ quarters in the Kian Yap residential area today which left 187 people homeless.

The 11.30am fire spread easily as the wooden houses were built close to each other and mostly occupied by Indonesian and Philippine migrant workers.

The blaze claimed no lives as the fire broke out at a time when most of the workers of the Labuan United Construction Sdn Bhd were at the construction sites.

The Labuan Fire and Rescue Department received the distress call at 11.54 am and said the fire was brought under control within two hours and they were investigating to determine the cause of the fire.

“The fire spread very quickly. Many of the houses had gas cylinders. These cylinders exploded, further escalating the fire and it went out of control,” said one of the workers, whose home was also burned down.

“When I opened my eyes from sleep, I saw fire everywhere, the sky turned red and smoke was everywhere,” said Lina, the wife of another worker.

She lived in the quarters with her two children and husband and the family lost everything in the blaze.

All the affected victims will be sheltered temporarily at the Labuan Multipurpose Hall while the Social Welfare Department is providing them with food assistance.