Early morning blaze occurred near petrol station
Bandar Seri Begawan - A massive fire broke out at a three-storey commercial building located next to a petrol station in the heart of Gadong yesterday morning, causing massive traffic jams around Jalan Gadong. As a precautionary measure, roads around the Menglait area were closed, causing massive traffic jams along Jalan Gadong in the morning.
Visibility was poor in the area as 53 Fire & Rescue personnel from Berakas, Female Operation Unit, Bandar Seri Begawan, Rimba and Marine Fire Station battled the flames for close to three hours. Nine fire trucks and a Fire & Rescue boat were dispatched to the area after receiving a distress call at 6.11am.
The operation was led by Acting Head of Commanding Officer, Fire Superintendent Othman Jailani bin Ismail. It took Fire & Rescue personnel two hours and 57 minutes to contain the blaze.
According to a resident of a nearby flat, Chu Siew Lan, her neighbour alerted her to the incident after she noticed smoke billowing from a ventilator at about 5.30am. She believed that the fire started at the basement of the building. However, the basement was allegedly locked at the time of the fire.
The fire became the talk of the town yesterday, as photos of smoke billowing from the building spread like wild fire on social-networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.
The owner of the building was alerted about the fire by employees at 6.05am.
Even though the fire did not spread to all the vehicle spare parts stored in the building, the owner said that water used to extinguish the flames would have certainly damaged them.
At press time, the number of people injured from the incident, as well as estimated damages and losses, could not be ascertained as investigations are still ongoing. The Fire & Rescue Department is also still investigating the cause of the fire.
According to eyewitnesses, smoke could still be seen from the building late last night.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin