Bandar Seri Begawan - A dawn fire, believed to have started from a satay stall, destroyed four stalls on the Brunei River bank facing the picturesque Kampong Ayer leaving nearly 50 people jobless, many of them locals, and more than $160,000 in damages. yesterday in the capital.No injuries were reported.
An electrical fault at the 24-hour satay stall, Wira Isma, one of the biggest in the town, is said to have sparked the flames at about 4.30 Sunday morning. Despite a slight drizzle the fire spread rapidly and quickly gutted its neighbours in the process.
The Kianggeh Food Court is one of Brunei Darussalam's well-known landmarks.
According to the Fire and Rescue Department, the faulty wiring in an overhead light had snapped and dropped onto a hose that was attached to a gas cylinder used for cooking that triggered the blaze.
An owner of one of the four damaged stalls said that his employees attempted to douse the flames, which started in the kitchen, but to no avail. They fled after the blaze became difficult to handle.
Twenty Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene after receiving the distress call at 6.13am. Utilising three fire trucks from the Bandar Seri Begawan Fire Station and one fireboat from Kg Ayer Fire Station, the blaze was brought under control within 26 minutes.
Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, was at the scene a few hours after the incident and spoke to members of the public who were there.
The minister told the Bulletin that a contingency plan would be worked out at a meeting involving several relevant government departments today.
He said the debris will be cleared and the area restored whilst vendors will be given an opportunity to temporarily utilise the open space to continue with their business whilst waiting for the restoration. (Borneo Bulletin)