Sat, 04 Jun 1994

Fire claims two offices, eight cars

JAKARTA (JP): At least eight cars and two buildings were burned in a fire at a vehicle repair and service shop on Jl. Masjid, Petukangan Utara, Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta, Thursday evening.

There were no fatalities reported. However, police found the smoldering remains of three Mercedez vehicles among the wreckage.

Police initial estimates of losses are around Rp 500 million (over US$230,000). The other five cars that were burned were two VW cars, one Mitsubishi L-300 minibus, one Mitsubishi Lancer and one Kijang Super minibus.

Besides the Lila Motor repair shop, a nearby furniture shop was also burned, along with several items inside of the building.

The cause of the 90-minute fire, which started around 6 p.m., is being investigated. However, police quoted several workers at the repair shop and the nearby furniture shop as saying that fire was seen to have broken out near a VW car which was being painted.

"Perhaps, there was a cigarette that sparked some thinner liquid near the car," City Police spokesman, Lt. Col. A. Latief Rabar, surmised.

Speaking to reporters, Latief said that officers from the National Police Forensic Laboratory were scheduled to come to the scene today to collect all possible samples find at the location for further investigation.

"So far, eight people, consisting of workers and owners of the two buildings, have been questioned by the local police," the spokesman said. (bsr)