PETALING JAY: “I heard a loud explosion and felt the tremors before the fire spread and engulfed three stalls in an instant,” a witness of Monday’s (Nov 20) fire at Uptown Kota Damansara here recounted on Tuesday (Nov 21).
Motorcycle workshop worker Zulkifli Adnan, 21, whose workplace was just in front of the fire’s location, said he immediately sought the help from people nearby to put out the fire and help ensure that it would not spread to other stalls.
Nearby traders managed to secure and use up 12 fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire but it continued to rage out of control and within half an hour, 20 stalls had been burnt and a lot of items lost.
“We couldn’t use water to put out the fire as the pipe was too small so we used whatever equipment we could find to fight the fire,” he told BK on Tuesday.
Food trader, Azhari Senandung, 30, said this was the first time a fire broke out in all the four years he had been selling there.
“My stall was slightly affected but my workers managed to save my products from being consumed by the fire,” he said, adding that his business was still affected as the area had been closed off temporarily for an investigation into the fire.
“We cannot conduct business, and compensation will be discussed later by the management. So for now, we can only clean things to help with the clean up,” Azhari said as he mulled on doing some online business in the meantime.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya district police chief ACP Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Hamid urged traders affected by the fire to lodge reports immediately, and as of Tuesday afternoon, only one had done so.
Mohamad Fakhrudin said that Uptown Kota Damansara would be closed to the public until the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department’s forensics team completes their investigation.
Monday’s fire engulfed around 20 stalls as well as a gymnasium. – BK