Mother and her six children perish in fire at Membakut home

By Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue Staff Writer 
Image Source: The Star

An emergency call made by a neighbor who only wishes to be identified as Arianto was received at the Kimanis Fire and Rescue Station at approximately 1.16am at Membakut. 

Upon getting the emergency call, the Kimanis Fire and Rescue Station dispatched a team onto the location. Arriving at Kampung Bandau, they found the wooden house utterly destroyed and unsalvageable.  

It was a grim scene as the scorched remains of a mother and her six children were found among the burned ruins. 

He said the victims were believed to have been trapped in the house when the fire broke out while the injured husband and son were taken to the Beaufort Hospital for treatment.

As quoted from an article from the Daily Express, Beaufort District Police Chief DSP Azmir Abd Razak voiced that, “We found the charred bodies of the victims and believed they were trapped inside when the fire broke out as they could not open the door grille.”

“From the initial information that we received, the victims were immigrants, of a Filipino husband and Indonesian wife, both believed to be farmers,” he said.

The Indonesian mother, Gai Nadia, and her children were recognized as Nana Romel, 14; Aisa Romel, 13; Shasha Romel, 10; Danial Romel, seven; Faisal Romel, five; and Samasan Romel, two.

However, there is some good news. The injured husband of the victim survived the fire with his child and managed to escape this deadly fate.

“The cause of the incident is still under investigation by the Fire and Rescue Department,” he said.

Other than that, New Sabah Times has reported that Sabah Fire and Rescue Department Director, Kamarulzaman Malik mentioned that evidence has been found that the deadly fires were caused either by arson or a short circuit.

“They have been taken back to the lab for further analysis. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. We are looking into it from all angles,” he stated.

He mentions that eyewitnesses had heard terrifying cries for help from the victims when the fire was occurring.

Image Source: New Hampshire Public Radio
Fire safety as compulsory steps in surviving fire incidents

Our homes may feel like the safest place in the world to us but this is where we fall short. Fire incidents could happen to anyone and any home. It erupts in a blink of an eye and so often leaves tragic consequences towards families that are involved. The question is, how prepared are we as parents should this circumstance happen to us? 

Here are some life-changing tips that can be practice provided by Free Malaysia Today.


  • You must be able to open any grille easily

Many Malaysians install grilles on their windows and doors for safety purposes. This is understandable as they may face crime issues in their neighbourhood.

However, always ensure that the grilles can be easily opened and the key to each grill lock is clearly labelled and kept in a safe and easily accessible place, such as in your handbag or backpack.

Avoid having all your windows installed as push glass panels or stationary glass panels that can’t be opened. Windows that slide or swing open are the best.


  •  Plan an escape route

Call a family meeting and plan an escape route with several contingency routes depending on where the fire starts.

Make sure everyone knows where the keys are kept. It’s best that each one has a set of these keys. Designate a gathering point outside your home where everyone can meet and be counted.

  1. Install an escape ladder

Should the fire start on your ground floor, it may be impossible to escape through the front door. In instances like this, an escape ladder will be your life saver from the upper floors.

Usually these fire escape ladders are made of steel and can even be attached to a window. Ideally fire escape ladders should be installed near your bedroom.

Alternatively, you can keep a portable escape ladder in several places on the upper floor.

  1. Conduct fire drills

It may come across as silly, but your attempts at crime-proofing your home can sometimes lead to compromising fire escape options.

It’s best to strike a balance and not go overboard in shutting yourself in a cage-like setting that will put you at risk during an actual fire but having a family fire drill could potentially save your life. Tell your family that you’ll hold a fire drill sometime this week, and give them the cue when everyone is home.

This way, you can see the flaws and weaknesses in your escape plan and improve on it.

  1. Avoid automatic gates, doors and windows

In the event of a fire, the electricity supply in your home may be cut off. This means that any automatic or remote controlled windows and doors won’t work and therefore won’t open.

You may be trapped inside or be unable to get to the next exit. It’s always advisable to stick to conventional exit points for an easy escape that isn’t dependent on any electricity or alternate power source. All your windows, doors and gates should open manually.

Your attempts at crime-proofing your home can sometimes lead to compromising fire escape options.

It’s best to strike a balance and not go overboard in shutting yourself in a cage-like setting that will put you at risk during an actual fire.

This article is based and sourced from this article from The Star:

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