KUALA LUMPUR – The blaze at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah residential religious school in Jalan Keramat Ujung here early yesterday, will go down in the country’s history as a fire-related incident with one of the highest death tolls in recent times.
Twenty-one students and two teachers who also served as wardens died in the fire which broke out at 5.15am.
According to Bernama’s records, the Pondok Pak Ya fire on Sept 22, 1989 claimed the highest number of victims. Twenty-seven students died in that fire which destroyed eight of the hostels of Sekolah Agama Rakyat Taufiqiah Al-Khairiah Al-Halimiah in Yan, Kedah.
The following is a chronology of fires involving religious and tahfiz schools nationwide since 2007.
• Jan 13: A tahfiz student sustained injuries in a fire at the hostel of Pondok Nurul Iman in Kampung Tanjung Batu, Nenasi in Pekan, Pahang.
• Jan 16: The An-Nuur Islamic Education Centre, better known as Pondok an-Nuur in Pantai Sepat, Kuantan, Pahang that housed 113 students was razed to the ground.
• Feb 7: A total of 73 female religious school students in Maran, Pahang were left with just the clothes on their backs when a fire destroyed their hostel. This was the second incident after the first in 2006, which also razed the students’ hostel.
• Feb 28: Pondok Al-Baghdadi in Tumpat, Kelantan that accommodated 100 students 15 and 30 years old, was destroyed in a fire. No casualties were reported.
• April 17: Ten residential buildings of Pondok Seri Permai in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan were destroyed in a fire, incurring losses estimated at RM161,000.
• April 30: Thirty students of Mahaad Tahfiz Al-Quran Al-Ismailiyah Mukim Lalang, Banggol Chicha, Pasir Mas, Kelantan saw their hostel reduced to ashes in a blaze.
• July 3: The store room of the Al-Islah residential religious school in Teluk Intan, Perak, which accomodated 68 students, was destroyed in a fire.
• July 4: The Addiniah Al-Latifiah residential religious school in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak, which had 66 students, was destroyed in a fire.
• July 30: Two hostel blocks of Maahad Tahfiz Al-Barakah in Sepang, Selangor which housed 100 male students were razed in a fire.
• Sept 14: A total of 22 students and two teachers were killed in a fire at the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah in the federal capital at 5.15am.
• Jan 18: The two-storey building which housed 30 students of the Al-Redzuan residential religious school in Kampung Dato Ahmad Razali, Dengkil, Selangor was razed in a fire.
• March 7: A total of 60 students of Darul Itqan Al-Muhammadi residential religious school in Kampung Batu 40, Sabak Bernam, Selangor lost their hostel to a fire.
• March 3: The hostel of Maahad Tahfiz at-Tijarah at Jalan Bukit Idaman 8, Bukit Idaman in Selayang, Selangor was among the premises destroyed in a fire.
• May 11: Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Quran Raudhatul Ulum, Bagan Selat, in Butterworth, Penang was destroyed in a fire. No casualties were reported.
• June 18: The hostel of Madrasah Diniah Bakriah Pondok Pasir Tumboh, which housed more than 50 students was razed in a fire. No casualties were reported.
• Sept 22: Maahad Tahfiz Daril Naim in Pangkal Kala, Melor, Kota Bharu in Kelantan was razed in a fire. According to the Kelantan Fire and Rescue Department, this was its second fire-related incident. The first was on July 2016.
• May 6: The premises that housed the essential items of the students of Ribat Assyafie residential school in Taman Murni Perdana, Dungun, Terengganu was destroyed in a fire.
• May 13: The hostel of Tahfiz Khairul Kalam in Jalan Kebun, Shah Alam, Selangor that had 26 students, was destroyed in a fire.
• July 29: Three students of Raudhatut Tahfiz residential religious school in Km2, Jalan Gunung Jerai in Guar Cempedak, Kedah suffered burns when a fire broke out at their hostel.
• Aug 28: The hostel of Madrasah Tahfiz Al-Zahra in Kampung Ladang, Gelang Patah in Johor Baharu, Johor was razed in fire about 6am.
• Oct 21: A fire destroyed 70% of the Al Ummi religious school in Labuan. There were no casualties.
• Feb 14: Seventeen students of Maahad Tahfiz Muhammadiah, Bukit Rangin in Kuantan, were left without their two-storey school because of a blaze.
• June 15: A student of Maahad Tahfiz Al-Barakah (Mantab), Kampung Masjid, Tikam Batu, near Sungai Petani, Kedah was found burnt to death, and two others injured when a fire destroyed their hostel.
• July 4: A total of 81 students of the Kunak religious school in Sabah lost their belongings when their temporary hostel for male students was destroyed in a blaze.
• Sept 9: The second floor of the Assyifa residential religious school in Kampung Kolam, Kuala Ibai in Terengganu, that housed 25 students, was destroyed in a fire while the students performed Zohor prayers at a nearby surau.
• Jan 25: A hostel for male students at the Sekolah Menengah Agama Nadzah, Bukit Besar in Yan, Kedah was destroyed in a fire believed to have been caused by a short circuit. Fire had also broke out in 1996 and 2005 at the same school.
• Jan 16: The top floor of the two-storey Maahad Qiraat Al-Azhar Amal Aimy Zdalifah at Km3, Jalan Sungai Korok, Sultan Abdul Halim Highway in Alor Setar, Kedah was destroyed in a fire at about 10.50am.
• Jan 22: Sekolah Pondok Lubuk Tapah, Kelantan’s oldest religious and educational centre was destroyed in a fire.
• July 25: An eight-year-old student of a private religious school in Hulu Langat, Selangor was burnt to death in a 1.30am fire.
• Jan 1: A fire which broke out at Sekolah Madrasah Darul Hikmah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah left damage estimated at about RM200,000. However, no casualties were reported.
• Aug 7: Twelve students of Sekolah Menengah Agama Darul Makmur in Pekan, Pahang, were unable to sit for an examination after their school building was destroyed in a fire.
• Sept 22: A fire destroyed Sekolah Pondok Bandar Hilir in Teloi, Sik, Kedah, However, there were no casualties as the incident occurred during a school holiday.
• Oct 22: A hostel block which housed 96 students of Sekolah Nurul Hidayah Al-Quran Maahad Tahfiz Pasir Puteh, Kelantan was destroyed in a fire. – Bernama