FATAL: Three children burnt to death as firefighters rush back to get lighter vehicles to cross
Firefighters retrieving the remains of the children in Kampung Mokodu, Ranau yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU 08 September 2012: FIREMEN rushing to get to a fire scene in Kampung Mokodou, 60km from Ranau, yesterday had to turn back as their vehicle could not pass through a bailey bridge, the only access to the village, as vehicles weighing five tonnes and above were not allowed to cross it.
With sirens blaring, they drove back to Ranau, got into a four-wheel drive and rushed back to the scene with six firefighters, only to be involved in the grim task of retrieving charred remains of three children in one of the two houses that were razed to the ground.
Fire and Rescue Department public relations officer Afendy Ramin said a team was deployed to the scene after they received a call at 7.52am. One of the houses was already razed by the time the team arrived at 9.45am and it was not long before the other was burnt to the ground.
"Other occupants of the two houses managed to escape unhurt," said Afendy, adding that all the firefighters could do was prevent the fire from spreading.
The children, aged 2, 4 and 5, were inside one of the houses when fire broke outabout 7.30am. They were identified as siblings Lisa and Harison Simson and their cousin from next door, Mohd Fitiri Zakaria.
Their charred bodies were found huddled in one of the rooms at 10am.
The two siblings were under the care of an uncle as their parents went to work at the rice fields in the area. Fitri was their playmate.
By ROY GOH