Recent fires involving religious schools

PETALING JAYA: A fire that claimed the lives of 22 pupils and two teachers at a tahfiz school in Datuk Keramat, Kuala Lumpur is not the first such case involving religious schools in recent years.

In fact, there were at least two incidents involving fire breakouts at tahfiz schools in August alone.

On Aug 21, 45 students of a tahfiz centre in Taman Mentari, Jalan Sungai Lalang, Semenyih were forced to evacuate after the kitchen caught fire around 12pm, believed to be caused by a cooking gas canister.

On Aug 7, eight male students of the Maahad Tahfiz Al-Quran Wartabiyyatul Islamiah in Telok Teduri, Baling, had to evacuate their three-storey school hostel building after a fire broke out at the top floor around 2am.

No fatalities were reported in both incidents.

On July 29, a huge fire engulfed Maahad Tahfiz Al Baraqah in Jalan Salak Besar, Sepang, completely burning two of its blocks, occupied by 100 of the school's male students.

The students were all asleep in the 4.42am incident, but managed to evacuate safely after one of the warden's alerted the students.

Another case on April 30 saw thirty students of the Maahad Tahfiz Al-Quran Al-Ismailiah in Pasir Mas, Kelantan being left homeless after their hostel caught fire around 4am while they were asleep.

In January, a 10-year-old pupil suffered burns on his face and hands after a fire, suspected to be arson, broke out at a pondok school in the Nenasi town near Kuantan at 8pm.

In the Jan 13 case, Nenasi Fire and Rescue Station chief Mohd Fadzirllah Zainal Abidin said the pupil, Mohd Aiman Syafiq Abdullah, said he saw someone splash fuel and torch the Pondok Nurul Iman Tahfiz Centre.

On Jan 18, 2016, thirty students from the Al-Redzuan Tahfiz Religious School at Kg Dato Ahmad Razali, Dengkil were left homeless after the school's hostel was ravaged in a fire around 8.45pm.