Wed, 24 May 2000

27 houses razed in Kramat Sentiong

JAKARTA (JP): Fire razed 27 houses on Jl. Kramat Sentiong, Senen district in Central Jakarta on Tuesday morning, turning some 200 residents into homeless people.

Senen district chief, Matin Salim, said the fire broke out at 10:30 a.m. and immediately razed 27 shanty houses in three neighborhood units, which covered a 1,200-square-meter area

"The wind blew so strongly that the fire easily spread to other houses," Salim said.

Locals were not sure of the source of the fire, but some said it allegedly started from a gas stove from the house belonging to a resident named Mamat.

At least 15 fire trucks rushed to put out the fire, but the firefighters found it difficult to approach the burning houses as there was only a small alley to reach the location of the fire.

Local residents, taking water from the ditch, were desperate to prevent the fire from spreading to other houses.

Central Jakarta Police chief of detectives Capt. Hendra Suhartiyono said the police were still investigating the cause of the fire.

"Most of the burned houses used wood and plywood for their second stories," Hendra said, adding that no casualties were reported in the fire.

"Local residents set up an emergency post at a nearby mosque to shelter the homeless residents in the area," he added.

It was the third large fire this month. The first took place in a densely populated area of Jembatan Besi subdistrict in Tambora district, West Jakarta, on May 1. Some 30 houses were burned down.

The second fire was on May 14 in Angke subdistrict, also in Tambora district, West Jakarta, when some 110 houses were burned down. (06)