Twelve houses were believed to be gutted and four others damaged in a fire which occurred early yesterday morning at Kampung Bendahara Lama, Mukim Tamoi. 99 people lost their house in the tragedy. The cause of the fire and estimated loss is still under investigation.
20 fire and rescue personnel from the Sungai Kebun, Pelancaran and Bandar Seri Begawan Fire Stations rushed to the site upon receiving the emergency call around half past 2 in the morning.
The damage was clearly seen in the morning. Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia Doctor Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, Minister of Home Affairs; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as the Chairman of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Aid Review Committee and Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports visited the site.
The victims were allocated at Bendahara Lama Primary School to allow the relevant agencies to gather information. The Minister of Home Affairs in an interview with RTB shared that the fire extinguishing efforts by the fire and rescue personnel were hampered by the low tide situation. The Minister added that relevant agencies such as the Community Development Department, Brunei Islamic Religious Council, the Ministry of Education and Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah were on hand to obtain information and help the victims of the fire such as replacing the school supplies and stationery including uniforms lost in the fire and providing temporary shelter. The victims were also provided with meals.
Meanwhile, the Minister at the Prime Minister's Office as the Chairman of the Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Aid Review Committee said Yayasan sympathises with the victims' plight and will prioritise the provision of aid to the victims.
The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports on the other hand explained that the ministry will provide the aid needed by the victims. The ministry through Community Development Department, JAPEM, will look after the well-being of the affected fire victims. He added, the victims will be allocated to 3 different housing situated in Belimbing, Sungai Akar and Sentosa starting today. Meanwhile, food ration and basic necessities will be given immediately by JAPEM. Financial aid will only be given after the review made by relevant authorities.
Source: Radio Television Brunei