House fire victim gets donations

National 1 minute, 45 seconds


A 60-YEAR-OLD resident of Kg Keriam in Tutong yesterday received donations after losing her home to a fire earlier this week.

Kalsum Hj Japar received two boxes of basic necessities including a bag of rice and clothing from the Tutong District Volunteers Association (SUKA).

The Fire and Rescue Department said the blaze was caused by a rechargeable torchlight. The estimated cost of damage is about $6,000.

Ten firefighters extinguished the late-night fire in three hours, the department said.

Recounting the night of the blaze, Kalsum said she was watching television when she noticed a burning smell coming from her bedroom. Upon investigating, she discovered that a small fire had broken out.

“I rushed to get water from the sink, but the smoke started to get thick and dark. The fire then spread to the wooden walls, so I rushed out of the house and yelled for help,” she said on the sidelines of the donation handover ceremony.

Kalsum said her neighbour, who is also her cousin, made the 995 emergency call.

“I was shocked when I saw the fire. Alhamdulilah, I got out of the house in time because if I stayed to get my belongings, I don’t think I would have made it because the smoke was already thick and black,” she added.

Kalsum is currently staying with her younger sister in Kg Keriam.

“If I get offered (a new house), then Alhamdulillah. But if I don’t, it’s okay because I can stay with my sister because it’s close,” she said.

Kalsum, who is unmarried and had lived in the house all her life, said she was grateful to her neighbours and family as they responded quickly to check on her condition.

She said she was also touched by the assistance and care she received from welfare agencies and members of the public.

According to SUKA, the donation was part of its ‘Program Sumbang dan Bantu’ (Contribute and Help Programme).

Kalsum previously received assistance and donations of rice, sugar, tea and other items from the Department of Community Development (JAPEM) following the fire.

The Brunei Times