KUALA LUMPUR: Residents staying below the five units of the flat that caught fire on the 17th floor, the highest at Block 70 of Sri Sabah Flats, have evacuated their homes for fear of possible structural integrity of the building following last night's fire.
A resident on the 16th floor, M. Kaausalya, 37, said she and her 63-year-old mother have moved out to a relative's house in Cheras because, although her unit was not damaged, the acrid smell of smoke was too strong and there was no water and electricity supply.
"During the incident, my mother and I had just finished dinner and were relaxing watching television when suddenly a neighbour thumped on the doors of all units on the 16th floor to warn us that the units on the top floor were on fire," she said when met by Bernama here today.
A stunned Kaausalya said she immediately grabbed her mobile phone and wallet before ushering her mother towards the elevator to go to the lobby.
Kaausalya was, however, thankful that despite the chaos, all the residents cooperated calmly and allowed the disabled or families with babies to use the elevator first, while the young ones took to the stairs.
"While waiting for the elevator trips, I could clearly see the fire raging from the upper balcony and, until now, I can feel the heat from the ceiling of my unit in addition to the smoky smell stuck onto the sofa and curtains," she said.
Meanwhile, another resident of the 16th floor, A. Steven, 42, said the fire melted the pipes in his house, which now leak, and also damaged part of the ceiling of his unit.
Steven, who works as a building manager, claims that so far there has been no official evacuation order issued by the authorities, leaving them unsure when they can return to their homes.
"I ask the government to help those of us who are affected quickly because each of us has jobs and the Chinese New Year holiday is almost over," said Steven, who has lived there for more than 30 years.
Steven lives with five other family members in his unit and they are now staying over at his mother's house in Bandar Sri Permaisuri, Cheras because he too was worried about safety. – BERNAMA