Bandar Seri Begawan - In the wake of what can be described as one of the biggest fires in recent history experienced by residents of Kampung Ayer yesterday local authorities have urged the water villagers to be more cautious with their homes to ensure history does not repeat itself.
On the sidelines of a visit to Kg Setia 'A' in Kampung Ayer, where a fire reduced several homes to ashes and rendered dozens homeless, the Minister of Home Affairs - among other senior government officers present at the scene - outlined two important measures that villagers need to take to minimise chances of a similar disaster happening.
Speaking exclusively to the Bulletin, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman stressed that villagers need to be more aware of the electrical wiring at home, which has been among the main causes of other house fires that have occurred over the years.
Secondly he pointed out, alterations to the home, including expansion works to accommodate occupants, should strictly take into consideration the homes of neighbours in terms of spacing between houses.
"House modifications that have resulted in inadequate space in between houses for walkways and so on can lead to the rapid spreading of fire from one unit to another, such as what has happened in this case," he pointed out, referring to how the source of the fire had also affected other homes.
"Residents should be more careful," he added.
In terms of the Ministry of Home Affairs' role in the incident, meanwhile, the minister explained that, "Our concerns are the villagers and their safety and, Alhamdulillah, there were no accidents (involving the loss of life) but this is, indeed, saddening."
The minister also praised the swift action of the Fire and Rescue Department and later commended the initiative of fire and rescue volunteers comprising villagers from other areas, who selflessly descended upon the scene to aid in putting out the fire.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin