Single Mum in Dire Straits

Kasmah Ulong, 61, could only watch helplessly as her rented flat went up in flames while she was out.

The single mother has been renting the council unit along Jalan Ashby for three years. She received a call from a neighbour informing her about the fire an hour after she left.

“I didn’t expect an electrical shorting, as all electrical outlets were switched off and unplugged. The kitchen stove was turned off to prevent gas leaking. I ensured this every time I leave the flat.

“There was one faulty electrical plug which I left untouched for a while. However, it was functional a few days earlier and I used it to operate the room fan.

“The fire damaged everything, including my savings of RM2600. I’m left with nothing,” she said when met at the site on Thursday, June 28, two days after the tragedy.

The fire broke out on Tuesday, June 26 at her flat on Block 10 at around 3.30pm. The flat is part of the Ipoh City Council Flats along Jalan Ashby, Ipoh and is managed by the council. Loss is estimated at RM10,000.

Firemen arrived some 30 minutes later. Even though the fire was put out, the lady’s belongings could neither be saved nor salvaged.

Shahrizal Mohd Musa, 38, Kasmah’s neighbour on the third floor said that he rushed down when his floor became scorching hot and thick smoke was billowing from below.

“It’s a small fire then. I heard an explosion at the fuse box. I rushed to get the fire extinguisher at the entrance. Unfortunately, it was out of order. I could only watch and yelled in case someone was trapped inside.

“I hope those responsible would ensure that circuit breakers and fire extinguishers are in working order for the safety of residents,” he remarked.

Kasmah Ulong has now been relocated to Block 9. The single mother works at a fruit stall at Kinta Heights earning about RM20 daily.

“My income is not fixed. I can’t afford to buy furniture and electrical items for my new flat. I’d be so grateful if people could lend me a helping hand,” she pleaded.

Readers keen to assist can deposit any amount into Kasmah’s BSN savings account: 08100-41-00020478-2. You can also meet her in person at No. 90G, Block 9, Jalan Ashby Flats, Ipoh.

Rosli Mansor

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