SIBU, Oct 25: Sibu Fire and Rescue (Bomba) Station had responded immediately to the fire which broke out at SM Citizen on Friday, said Bomba Zone 4 chief Janggan Muling.
“From our record, we had arrived at the scene in 29 minutes and 10 seconds at 8.08am. According to Google Maps, the time taken to reach there from the town centre is 34 minutes.
“The condition of Jalan Salim-Stabau is not that good and yet we had reached there in less than 30 minutes,” he said today to clear allegations by Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
Tiong had in his statement yesterday took Sibu Fire Station to task for taking up a long time of 45 minutes to reach SM Citizen Middle School to put out the fire on Friday.
As a result of which 70 percent of the school hostel block was destroyed.
The Bintulu MP said it was fortunate that the fire did not claim any lives, especially as there were students in class at a nearby building.
He called on Bomba to improve on their response time in any disaster.
In response, Janggan said his department did not delay in getting to the SM Citizen fire scene on Friday. The distance from the town to the school is 27 km.
Janggan added that his Central Station received a distress call from a teacher of the school at 7.38am that day and it took just 50 seconds for the first fire engine to depart from the station.
“We don’t know when the fire had actually started as we are still investigating it,” he said.
He also clarified the damage done to the building.
“The upper floor of the building was of a wooden structure. Normally it takes only between 3 to 5 minutes for the fire to engulf wooden material,” he said.
The fire was put under control by 10 firemen at 8.45am while the flame was completely doused about an hour later. —DayakDaily