KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 8 — A teenager with mental illness was alleged to have set his house on fire in an incident at Kampung Gong Tok Nasek here last night.
The 14-year-old boy, who is also a person with disabilities, claimed he was “told by his late mother” to burn the house and was also seen recording a video of the incident with a mobile phone.
His grandaunt, Juriah Salleh, 64, said the teenager lives with his father and grandmother in the house but they were not at home when the fire broke out.
“I saw him recording a video of the fire while crying. So, I called him and asked him to sit down. When asked why he set the house on fire, he said he ‘saw’ his late mother who had ‘told’ him to do so,” she said when met at the scene last night.
She added that the teenager admitted to starting the fire using matches, papers and candles he had bought.
She said the teenager, who is on treatment and medication, had once set the house on fire when he was 10 years old but they managed to put out the fire.
Meanwhile, Kuala Terengganu Fire and Rescue Station chief Rozizah Ibni Hajar said they received an emergency call at 7.59pm and 19 personnel in two fire engines and a tanker were rushed to the scene.
“When they reached the scene, the house was ablaze and there was a 14-year-old teenager at the location who managed to flee to safety,” she said, adding that firemen took about 25 minutes to put out the fire.
Kuala Terengganu district police chief ACP Abdul Rahim Md Din said they were waiting for a report from the fire and rescue department to determine the cause of the fire.
“Police will initiate an investigation if there are elements of arson,” he told Bernama when contacted today. — Bernama