Kajang fire: Old folks home operating without a licence

The nursing home for the elderly, which following a fire this morning.
Personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department comb the scene, after putting out the fire, on Dec 13, 2017. — Bernama

KAJANG: The freak early morning fire at a nursing home for the elderly, that claimed the lives of five of its residents did not have a business permit to operate, according to the Kajang Municipal Council.

Councillor Lai Wa Chong said that preliminary checks with the municipal showed that the nursing home had been operating without a permit and the council is considering taking serious action against the operator once police and fire department investigations are complete.

"So far we are still waiting for records from the social welfare department (JKM) on whether the owner applied for a permit with them," he said when met at the location of the incident.

Four of the five residents of the home who were killed in the fire were senior citizens. They were identified as Leow Chong Fatt, Teo Hoi Foo and Kwan Sak Seen who were all in their 60's whereas Lai Sew Yin was in her 70's.

The other casualty was a Pakistani caretaker identified as Awis Muhammad, 25.

Kajang police Chief ACP Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yusoff said there were four survivors, Lim Chin Fatt, in his 70s, who is currently receiving treatment at the Kajang Hospital along with three others who emerged unscathed and were not sent to the hospital.

Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul said the blaze in the double-storey bungalow was believed to have started at 5am.

The remains of three of the victims were found in their rooms downstairs while Teo was found in the hall.

The caretaker's remains were found on the second floor.

The cause of the fire has not been ascertained yet but Sani revealed that initial investigations suggest the fire started in the living room area.