KOTA BHARU (Dec 31): A food shop assistant, who is a deaf-mute, was found dead in a predawn fire which destroyed two food shops and a house at Jalan Gajah Mati here today.
Kota Bharu Zone fire chief, Senior Fire officer II Syobirin Abd Kadir said the identity of the victim had yet to be ascertained, but she is believed to be a shop assistant known as “Mok Su”, aged 40.
The body had been sent to Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital for post mortem.
He said 31 firemen in seven engines from the Kota Bharu, Darul Naim and Tunjong fire and rescue stations rushed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 5.56 am.
He said the burnt body of the victim was found after the firemen had put out the fire at 7.17 am.
The Fire and Rescue Department is investigating the cause of the fire and losses incurred, he added.
Meanwhile, Zaidah Mohd Istiak, 50, who owns one of the food shop, said she was sleeping on the ground floor of the shop with an aunt and a six-year-old grandchild when she woke up and saw the shop of fire.
“I screamed as loud as I could to wake up the others, including two employees, who were sleeping upstairs.
“One of them jumped out the building, while Mok Su was not able to get out,” she said, adding that she had to break down the back door of the shop to escape.
“The fire spread very fast and all of us are left only with the clothes on our back. Also destroyed in the fire are my grandchild’s school needs that I have bought for him to begin school tomorrow,” she added.