Kg Tamoi fire leaves 30 homeless

National 1 minute, 54 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

FIVE families lost their homes after a fire broke out at Kampung Tamoi Ujong yesterday.

The fire that destroyed four houses and damaged another left over 30 members of the five families homeless.

When The Brunei Times arrived at the scene, firefighters and villagers were working together to keep the flames from spreading through what little remained of the four burning houses.

Many of the villagers were seen to be gathering around the victims to console and provide them with assistance.

Counsellors from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) were also on scene to provide emotional support to the fire victims, some of which had collapsed from shock.

One of the victims, Suhardi Abdul Latif, said that he didn’t know what started it as he was inside his home with his family when his neighbours alerted him of the fire which occurred sometime around 3pm.

“The wind was so strong that we had to escape through the back door because there was too much smoke in the entrance,” said the father of five.

Suhardi, who had lived in the house for 15 years, said that this was the second home he had lost to a fire.

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof also was on hand at the site yesterday during the commotion.

“It is nightfall so the most important (priorities) is food, drinks and sleeping equipment,” said the Minister assessing the needs of those affected.

“Most of them prefer to stay with the relatives for the time being but nevertheless our ministry is preparing the youth centre as a temporary shelter if they wish (to use it)”, he added.

The Minister said that seeing the public supporting and assisting each other in their time of need was heartwarming.

“This shows how close the community really is.”

Tarip Hj Asgar, Village head of Kampung Tamoi Tengah and Tamoi Ujong, Mukim Tamoi, said the first respondents were volunteer firefighters who tried to provide aid until the firefighters arrived.

He would like to express his thanks to the local authorities and the government for coming to the scene and providing assistance to the villagers in the form of food, water and other supplies.

The Brunei Times