The last day of October have bringing a shocking tragedy that has never happened in my life. The experience that I pray will never have to go through again.
That Thursday’s afternoon, about 5pm I received a text message from a friend who works in Telekom Malaysia. ‘Anna, rumah ko kat flat tu terbakar.’. Imagine my shocked. Since we were in October, so definitely not an April’s Fool pranks.
Then she told me from her office building she can see blazing fire, burning the top floor. And it involved more than 3 houses at least. I was shaking. Shocked and numb. I didn’t know what to do. I know there was nothing I can do to save my house or save my belonging but I just got to be there.
So, I went for Asar pray then packed my bag and headed home. Luckily it was already almost 5.30pm. It was not too weird or raising curiosity from others if I were to leave.
The heavy rain earlier already stopped. Along the way I was thinking about the cause of the fire. My only opinion, it might because of short circuit since there were strong thunder and lightning during that heavy rain.
Reached the lrt station about 6.10pm. I saw crowd of people, lot of cars, bad traffic and different sounds of siren. The first time I saw the flat, I can see black smokes coming up from the top of the building. But no more fire. Alhamdullillah was all on my mind. Nearer, I saw only the top floor affected with bit of blackened wall on 15th floor. The side where my house is look alright. Alhamdulillah, again.
Then I saw Fire Bridget, ambulances and police cars which contributed too different siren sounds. 3 ambulances kind of made me worried. 3 is many, isn’t it? Not to mention maybe even more before I reached there.
It was a relief to find out later no casualty and bad injuries. Only some elder people a kids that have trouble breathing because of they were inhaled fire’s smoke. I think the think sort. I messaged my other housemates. Seem like the wont coming back until all cleared. I stayed because i want to know what’s going on. Plus i think maybe because I live here more than 10 years, so it has more meaning and values to me compared to them. And I know more people too.
Few families gathered up near the yellow ‘No-crossing’ tape whom I found out later were the families which stayed in the burning houses. Some cries some numb like not connected to reality. An aunty almost passed out, still not believing what happened.
I greeted few that I know and in speaking term. From them I found out the cause of the fire was cooking accident. A foreign working who stayed in the middle house, cooking in his room. Not sure what happened but when the fire started, he couldn’t stop it. Since it was a room, my guess was there was lots of inflammable stuff and that was why the fire spread very fast.
The carelessness of one person caused troubles for lots others.
The incident made into the night’s news. i guess because the size of the fire plus the flat was quite well-know. Also few politicians were here, interviewed by the media. I started getting messages and phone calls from families and friends. I’m just glad to tell then I was okay.
Most of us stayed there for the latest news/info from anybody. Firemen, police, fire forensic but till night nobody tell us anything except we cannot return to the houses since they were investigating the incident and building safety. There were rumours that we might not able to return tonight. But we kept waiting. There was raining again. Because no shelter big enough for all of us, the firemen release the flat’s hall to be used. Then somebody donated food and drinks. We were very grateful because everyone was tired and hungry.
About 10.00 pm, firemen told us that we were cleared to go back to our respective houses. They started calling the residents floor by floor. And we have to leave the contact of one representative of each house. Alhamdulillah.
As expected, lift was not functioning. So we have to climb the stairs and me at 14TH FLOOR!! That’s it. No more exercise till next year. My legs were shaking when I was finally reached my house. I fell on the bed and not moving like half an hour. I can feel the energy drained from every parts of my body.
Though they turned on the electricity back, but the water was out. Bad news for me and my housemates because we have problem with our water tank. We need to manually fill the water in. And sadly, the last person, didnt fill in the water. So our water supplies ran low. Arrghh! Another bad news..
The next day, only one lift functioning, meaning more waiting time because it stopped longer on each floor. If you were unlucky, you have to wait for 2-3 trips before can get in.
We lived with no water for 3 days, Thursday to Saturday. Our water supplies only from those pipes at ground floor at 3 places at the shop lots. People queuing up for the water. The owners were very generous and didn’t ask for any payment. I wonder how much their bills at the end of the month. I wouldn’t mind to give some contribution even more that the water I took’s worth. SYABAS came yesterday afternoon for more of the water supply. Luckily the water was back Saturday late afternoon, about 5-ish. And since my house is on the top floor, so it will take longer the water pressure to reach my house. It was a relieve.
The fire definitely not what ones dream to happen but on the good side or lesson learned, the incident did make tenants and residents more aware of their neighbors. Some just found out that they were univ-mate and this one girl found her school-mate. Another thing is I think after this, the residents will be more open if they saw too many foreigners in one house.
All this and now we are in a new month. Will it bring more hopes and prosperity?
Let’s pray for it.