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Fire Spread Quickly Due To Bedsheet, Curtain, Clothing

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KUALA LUMPUR – Flammable materials such as bedsheet, curtain and clothing are among the factors which caused the fire in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Hospital Sultanah Aminah (HSA), Johor Bahru yesterday, to spread quickly.

Senior security consultant of Ficosafe Consultants Sdn Bhd, Samad Rahim said the heat, the oxygen and flammable materials fueled the fire making it difficult to control.

“The fire which occured in an closed location caused strong heat and quickly spread to the curtains and other flammable materials,” he told Bernama today.

Samad, who is experienced in building security consultancy including hospitals, said this when commenting on the fire at HSA yesterday.

The fire on the second floor of the hospital built in 1938, killed six patients treated in the ICU while another was rescued.

Three HSA employees were hurt and treated at Hospital Sultan Ismail.

Asked whether the oxygen used by the ICU patients made it difficult to control the fire, he said: “The oxygen is combustible in nature as it enriches the air. This will cause the fire to spread quickly.”

Yesterday, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said the oxygen used for breathing by the patients, fueled the fire and made it difficult to control.

Samad advised the management of buildings to comply with the Uniform Building By-laws 1984 (UKBS) as a security measure in the premises.

“Prevention is better than cure, take the first step before anything untoward happens,” he added.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who visited the families of victims in HSA yesterday wanted a commission to be formed to probe the fire.

He said the findings would then be used as a guide for all hospitals in the country, particularly for hospitals that need to be modified or upgraded. – BERNAMA

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