Short Circuit Blamed As Fire Tears Through Jakarta Electronics Center

By webadmin on 08:59 am Aug 13, 2012
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Bayu Marhaenjati

A fire that destroyed 26 stalls at the Harco Glodok electronics center in West Jakarta on Sunday is believed to have been caused by a short circuit.

“There were 26 stalls on the third floor of Harco Glodok destroyed by the fire,” said Sutarno, head of operations at West Jakarta’s fire agency. “No one was hurt in the fire.

Sutarno said 29 fire trucks and dozens of firefighters were deployed to battle the blaze. “We received some help from the Central and North Jakarta fire agencies,” he added.

The cost of the fire is still being calculated and it will probably take some time before a final figure on losses is reached.

Meanwhile, the police are still investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed more than 400 homes last Monday in Karet Tengsin, Central Jakarta.

Early reports said the fire was started by an exploding cellphone but officials have said the cause is still not clear.

“How could the fire agency say that an exploding cellphone caused the fire? Firefighters were late in arriving at the scene,” Adj. Sr. Comr. Suyudi, the chief of the Tanah Abang subdistrict police, which oversees Karet Tengsin, said on Wednesday.

The area where the blaze started has been identified and cordoned off by yellow police tape, but people were making their way around the tape and into the area on Saturday.

It’s unclear if the police have concluded their investigation as to the cause of the fire or have even started it.

“Witnesses only said that there was a fire,” Suyudi said. “No one mentioned that it came from a charged cellphone.”

Monday’s fire started at about 7:35 p.m. and was visible from several kilometers away, towering close to five meters high as residents watched helplessly.

About 405 homes and 200 businesses, most of which were constructed from plywood and wooden beams, were destroyed.

Residents who lost their homes have moved to an adjacent cemetery and to the ground floors of some nearby buildings. Some residents in the maze of homes have already started to rebuild.

Several relief organizations, including the Red Cross and Lions Club have set up tents in the area and are providing food, blankets, clothes and other necessities to help the people who lost their homes. Most of these groups are still accepting donations.

Church groups and other organizations have stopped by to offer support and provide balloons and toys for children.

A mosque in the area is being used as a medical facility.