Tawau school destroyed in fire

Tawau: A total of 139 pupils, 23 teachers and three staff of SK Sentosa at Mile 4, Jalan Apas, here, lost their school when its two wooden buildings were destroyed in a fire at about 12.15pm on Friday.

The school, built 17 years ago, was the first to be destroyed by fire this year.

The school’s administrative assistant, Rosdiana Malla, said she was resting in the mini hall when she was awakened by a secondary school student informing her of a fire in the school compound.

“The student asked me, ‘Isn’t the school office on fire?’ I rushed out of the hall and saw a fire was spreading.

Before the incident, there was a blackout around noon but I thought it was normal.

Shocked and panicked, I ran away from the area and asked a parent to call firefighters.

I then contacted the headmaster,” she said.

Rosdiana said she was alone in the office at the time of the incident as the school session had already ended and two of her counterparts had left for Friday prayers while another had gone home.

Headmaster Sofiah Md Ali said the destroyed building on the left housed the general office, teacher’s office, library, mini hall, store and textbooks storage, while the building on the right housed recovery rooms and four classrooms.

She said she was saddened by the incident although she joined the school only in 2012, adding that it carried much sentimental values to the students and teachers as is had been occupied since the 1990s.

“We were not able to save any important belongings…everything was gone,” she said.

According to Sofiah, SK Sentosa is scheduled to move to the SMK Kabota old building as their new school building and the army had agreed to assist them in transporting their school equipment on March 2.

“Next week is supposed to be our last week here because we had received an approval letter from the Education Ministry to move to the SMK Kabota old building.

“We were in the process of moving out and had already packed some of our belongings,” she added.

Sofiah said they lost teachers’ personal files, students’ files, four computers, 40 1Malaysia laptops, a cart, a safety box, LCD and a table, adding that textbooks and library books were moved earlier.

Meanwhile, district Fire and Rescue Department Chief Sharudy Delamin said four fire engines with nine firefighters were deployed to the scene after receiving a distress call at 12.18pm.

He said when the team arrived, the two buildings which were only three metres apart were 95 per cent burnt.

“The fire spread very quickly because the buildings were made from wood.

We immediately conducted a cooling operation to save another building which was seven metres away from the two.

“Luckily, the school session had already ended and no casualties were reported in the incident,” he said.

The cause of the fire and total losses are still under investigation.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=123014

Comments are closed.