SUNGAI PETANI: The charred remains of two victims were found in an early morning fire which destroyed eight shophouses on Jalan Sungai Emas Kota Kuala Muda near here today.

Kedah Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) director Awang Hidzel Awang Bujang said firefighting teams from the Tikam Batu and Sungai Petani fire and rescue stations, with the assistance of a team from the Kuala Muda Fire and Rescue Station, rushed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 1.12 am.

He said that on arrival, the firefighters found eight units of class B two-storey shophouses on fire and efforts were made to prevent the fire from spreading.

The firefighters managed to control the fire at 3:08 am before finding the bodies.

The first victim was found at 3.19 am while the second victim was found at 6 am and the bodies were then handed over to the police for further action, he said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, another body was found at the scene of the fire.

According to Awang Hidzel, the body was found said the body of the third victim involved in the fire was found at 10.15 am.

“The body of the third victim was found under the stairs not far from where the body of the second victim was found. The body of the first victim was found in the living room while the second body was found about three meters away and was hit by the rubble of the door...all near the exit door of a shophouse,“ he said.

He said the fire was believed to have started at a premises selling school clothing and then spread to other shophouses. The shophouses, with the upper structure made of wood, were believed to be built more than 60 years ago.

Two of the victims were women, identified as Yong Swee Lan, 92, and Lee Chew Fong, 61, while the other was a man, identified as Lim Yang Kooi, 66. However, their relationship had yet to be ascertained. - Bernama