Saturday, June 02, 2007

MORE PICS & Video – Suspected Arson Ipoh Fire -Thurs 31st May 2007 5; A Kancil car was spotted just before Explosions that Gutted two Cars

Saturday June 2, 2007; Police probe arson claims; By CHAN LI LEEN; STAR

IPOH: Police are investigating the deaths of the five family members in a fire at Taman Song Choon here as murder. Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm Jalaludin Ibrahim said police had reason to believe the fire was caused by arson. Post-mortems, said ACP Jalaludin, revealed that all the five died due of suffocation. “We have taken a statement from the sole survivor, at the hospital,” he said, adding that police were also investigating the motive behind the arson. “Some say it was because of an affair, others say it was ah long but we are still investigating the motive,” he added.

The early morning fire on Thursday took the lives of 91-year-old Chai Kim and four other family members. Chai Kim's charred remains were found in the living room where he was sleeping with his 33-year-old grandson Chai Chee Keong, the sole survivor in the 3.30am fire that destroyed two terrace houses. Chee Keong was rescued through the back door by a security guard and neighbours. He was warded for burns on his arm and was discharged from the Ipoh Hospital yesterday morning. His father Chai Kar It, 67, was found dead in a bathroom upstairs while the bodies of his sister Chai Moi Fong and her husband Tan Wei Lim, both 32, were in a room upstairs.

The charred remains of a relative, Lim Kian Hwa, 29, were found in a corner in another bathroom upstairs. It is learnt that the family had a reunion the night before the fire after Chai Kim, Kar It and Chee Keong, who owns a fruit orchard in Cameron Highlands, arrived for Chai Kim’s heart check-up here.

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May 31, 2007
11:26 AM

Five Family Members Die, One Injured In Fire In Ipoh

IPOH, May 31 (Bernama) -- Five family members were killed and another was injured in a pre-dawn fire on two double-storey terrace houses in Taman Soon Chun, Gunung Rapat, here Thursday. The dead were Chai Kim, 91, his son Chai Kar It, 67, daughter Chai Moi Fong, 32, her husband Tan Wei Lim, 32, and a relative, Lim Kien Hua, 29. Another family member was injured while fleeing the blazing house and had been admitted to the Ipoh Hospital, Ipoh OCPD ACP Jalaludin Ibrahim (BELOW) said.

Apart from the family's home and an adjacent house, the fire, which broke out about 3.30am, also damaged two cars and two motorcycles parked in front of the building. A couple staying in the second house managed to escape with their six-month-old baby before their home too was engulfed in flame. Jalaludin said four of the bodies were found on the upper floor of the house, while the fifth was found on the ground floor. Two of the victims, including the one found on the ground floor, were believed to have died due to smoke inhalation as there were only 30 per cent burns on their bodies. All the bodies had been taken to the Ipoh Hospital. Jalaludin said police had classified the case as sudden death but they and the Fire and Rescue Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

He said the tracker dog unit from Bukit Aman would be used to assist in the investigation. Meanwhile, a grandson of Chai Kit's, who wanted to be known only as Kiet, said his grandfather, who was staying with him at Ringlet in the Cameron Highlands, came to Kar It's house yesterday to go to a clinic here for treatment. "I was supposed to take my grandfather to the clinic today and then take him back to Cameron Highlands," Kiet said, adding that he rushed here upon being informed of the fire at about 6am. He said his uncle and family ran a business in the Cameron Highlands and commuted daily from Ipoh. An occupant of the other house affected by the fire, who declined to be named, said he had just returned home at about 3am and was preparing for bed when he heard an explosion.

"I rushed out of the house and saw the neighbour's house ablaze and there were shouts for help from inside the house," he said, adding that he rushed back into his house to waken his wife and left the building with their baby. Another neighbour also said that she was awakened by a loud explosion. "When my husband and I went out to check, we saw the two houses engulfed in flame. We heard shouts for help from inside the house but the neighbours could not help because the fire spread very fast," she added.

A spokesman of the Fire and Rescue Department said two fire engines with 16 firemen went to the scene after receiving a distress call at 3.35am and took about an hour to douse the fire

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