Tue, 29 Jul 2003

Two fires in Jakarta, one killed

A maid died in one of two fires that burned down dozens of homes in two separate areas on Monday.

In Manggarai Utara II, South Jakarta (see photo), witnesses said the fire stared in the home of Rasmat at around 1:30 a.m. in neighborhood unit 01/community unit 04.

The fire spread quickly and burned down about 30 homes, two kiosks and car workshops located along the Ciliwung riverbank near Manggarai bus terminal. No fatalities or injuries were reported.

The fire was extinguished at 1:30 a.m. Monday after the South Jakarta and East Jakarta fire brigades deployed 25 fire trucks to the area.

In North Jakarta, 19-year-old Astuti died in a fire that ravaged a four-story house on Jl. Teluk Gong, Penjagalan, Penjaringan.

Penjaringan Police chief Comr. Khrisna Murti inferred that Astuti, who worked as a maid at the house, may have started the fire.

Khrisna said the police found a leaking gas tank beside Astuti's burned corpse on the fourth floor.

"The tank was usually on the first floor, not the fourth. Besides, she (Astuti) locked the door," said Khrisna, adding that the police would investigate the case.

The house owners were visiting people in another house 500 meters away. -- JP