Hundreds of Houses Ablaze in Jakarta’s Kapuk Muara

By webadmin on 04:24 pm Aug 22, 2012
Category Archive

Lenny Tristia Tambun

A fire erupted in a densely populated
squatter settlement in Kapuk Muara, North Jakarta, destroying 300
houses, a fire brigade official said on Wednesday.

The fire
erupted at the settlement on Jalan Rawa Indah, and the 300 or so houses
in a 4,000 square meter area were gutted, said Paimin Napitupulu, the
head of the city’s fire brigade.

There were no reports of casualties but about 300 families lost their homes and property, he said.

The
North Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Red Cross and the North Jakarta
social welfare office have sent food and medical aid to the area.

The fire started at around 9:30 a.m. and 26 fire trucks were deployed. He said the fire was extinguished shortly after noon.

“We are still investigating the cause, but usually the main reason is an electric short circuit,” Paimin said.

He
called on people who leave their homes for days, especially during the
exodus period surrounding Idul Fitri, to shut off their electricity
before leaving. He also said that there should not be too many plugs in
one electricity outlet, and old or damaged cables should be replaced.

“We
have already told those planning to leave for the exodus to shut down
their electricity at home before leaving and leave their home to the
care of a neighbor who is not leaving,” he said.

A series of blazes have hit the capital this dry season.

On
Tuesday, a blaze burned through Pondok Bambu, East Jakarta, destroying
150 homes and workshops left vacant while their owners were out of town
on mudik.

It took firefighters three hours to extinguish the
fire, which torched numerous workshops stocked with wood, paint thinners
and chemicals.

Local residents said the fire started in a workshop, but Paimin said it began in an empty house.

“Based
on testimony of eyewitnesses, the fire started in an empty house,” he
said. “A child saw the fire get bigger after possibly igniting paint
thinner and furniture materials.”

Losses in the Pondok Bambu blaze could total more than a billion rupiah ($100,000).