Tuaran Tahfiz hostel up in flames
Published on: Friday, February 15, 2019

TUARAN: A female tahfiz hostel went up in flames at Kg Marabahai, here, Thursday but no casualty was reported among its 41 residents.

Fire and Rescue Department’s Tuaran Station Chief Abdul Qawie Abdul Gapar said all of the Tarbiyatun Nisa Tahfiz Centre students managed to escape the 6.50am mishap. 

Eleven firefighters and two fire engines were deployed to the location after an emergency call at 6.58am.

“Upon arrival, the firefighters found the hostel, located in a double-storey, semi-permanent house, gutted,” he said. All the occupants had evacuated and gathered in an open space about 100 meters from the hostel.

Abdul Qawie said the hot weather and wind conditions intensified the fire but the firefighters managed to prevent it spreading to an adjacent house.

“The fire was brought under control at 7.38am and the cause and estimated losses are under investigation,” he said.

“As of now (8.40am), the firefighters are still carrying out checks for other hazards and helping move the residents’ belongings saved from the fire.”

Hostel manager and ustazah, Aishah Abdul Halim, said the incident occurred after some of the students attended a religious lecture after pre-dawn prayers while the others were in the dormitory due to illness.

“As soon as all the students returned to the dormitory, the fire raging downstairs caused one student to shout to all the others to escape,” she said.

Among those who lived in the hostel were orphans and the poor aged between seven and 26. Anyone who wants to help the students can call Aishah at 013-414 8823. 

Several tahfiz centres were reported to have experienced fire previously in Sabah. A June 2018 news report said 43 tahfiz centres were registered as tahfiz fire squads in Sabah.

These squads are aimed at exposing students to hands-on fire prevention education and life-saving skills. 

The Tahfiz Fire Squad programme started in 2016, even before the Darul Quran Ittiffaqiyah tahfiz school fire tragedy in Kuala Lumpur in 2017, an act of arson by drug addicts that claimed 23 lives. - R. Gonzales


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