KUANTAN, Aug 31 ― The charred body of a woman, believed to be a senior citizen, was found in a wooden shophouse which was among 32 buildings that caught fire at 1.30am today in Sungai Lembing here.
Pahang Fire and Rescue Department deputy director Mohd Sani Harul said the body was found in front of the two-storey shophouse at 6am, with the department personnel still searching for the woman's husband, who was also believed to have been trapped in the blaze.
Speaking to reporters at the scene of the incident, Mohd Sani said the shophouse was occupied by the senior citizen couple.
“We believe that the charred body belonged to the wife as a woman's accessories were found on the remains. We also believe that she had fallen from the building's balcony during the blaze,” he said.
A K9 dog unit would be used to trace the woman's husband, he added.
The fire destroyed 20 shophouses, 11 one-storey quarters and a library, all of which were believed to be about 100-years-old.
The fire, which is believed to have started in one of the homes, was put out at about 3.45am by a team of 67 firemen from the Kuantan, Indera Mahkota, Taman Tas and Gebeng fire stations.
Mohd Sani said the fire had spread rapidly because the buildings were made of wood, and this had hampered firemen's efforts to put out the blaze.
Kuantan District Officer Tengku Datuk Nor Asmaliza Ku Lah said all other occupants of the buildings were being temporarily housed at the hall of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (C) Sungai Lembing. ― Bernama