Fires Kill 4 in Surabaya, Displace Hundreds in Bandung
Four people died and hundreds lost their homes in two separate fire-related incidents in Surabaya, East Java, and Bandung, West Java.
Four people died when a cafe at a Surabaya shopping center caught fire on Friday. Flames engulfed the Cafe Redboxx at the Pakuwon Trade Center at 3:20 a.m., Metro TV reported.
Eleven fire trucks were deployed to the location. When the fire was contained, three charred bodies were found inside. Another was found in the cafe lobby. All the casualties were male. They were taken to the Mitra Keluarga Hospital for identification.
Three other people were injured during the fire. Two were in critical condition with severe burns, while one suffered minor injuries because she was able to escape as soon as the fire started.
“I didn’t know that there was a fire until it suddenly engulfed the cafe. My friends pulled me out of the building,” Endang, 20, told online news portal Detik.com. Although the cafe had an emergency exit, Endang said that she could not remember which door she used to escape.
Surabaya Police sent teams from the forensics lab and Disaster Victim Identification to determine the cause of the fire. The teams arrived at 9 a.m. to process the scene.
In a separate incident, another fire happened in Bandung, West Java. About 120 houses in the Jalan Bima, Cicendo area were razed to the ground. Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate and seek shelter in tents.
The fire started at 3 a.m. Witnesses said that it came from the house of Afandi, one of the residents. The fire spread within minutes to other houses along the street. It was contained within an hour by fire brigades from Bandung and from the neighboring town of Cimahi.
Ayi Vivananda, the deputy mayor of Bandung, said that the local government had taken emergency steps to help the victims.
“We are preparing two huge tents for fire refugees. The military will also help by sending platoon tents,” Ayi told state news agency Antara.
According to Ayi, the massive fire was caused by faulty wiring. “It was not triggered by gas canister explosion, but electricity short circuiting,” he said.