Tahfiz centre inferno: Fire caused by arson - JBPM

Tahfiz centre inferno: Fire caused by arson - JBPM
Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim: Investigations have revealed that the petrol was poured onto a towel rack, shoes and walls at the entrance of the dormitory on the third level of the building. - Astro AWANI/SHAHIR OMAR
PUTRAJAYA: The Fire and Rescue Department (JPBM) has ascertained arson as the cause of the fire at a Islamic residential religious school in Kuala Lumpur that claimed the lives of 21 students and two teachers last Thursday.

JBPM also confirmed that the fire in Tahfiz Darul Quran Al Ittifaqiah in Kampung Datuk Keramat was caused by petrol.

According to it Director General, Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim, investigations have revealed that the petrol was poured onto a towel rack, shoes and walls at the entrance of the dormitory on the third level of the building.

"The fire is believed to have been started with the torching of petrol that was poured on the towel rack, shoe rack and wall in front of the door to the hostel on the third level," he said at a press conference here.

He said, the fire then spread to the ceilings and burnt the entrance on level three.

The fire spread rapidly due to gas (LPG), which was released from two cylinders placed there.

Datuk Wan Mohd added the abundance of flammable materials in the dormitory caused the fire to spread swiftly and the victims stood no chance.

READ: Fire at tahfiz school: All bodies burnt

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In last Thursday’s incident, a total of 21 students and two teachers who were also wardens were killed in the fire after being trapped in the dormitory which was situated on the highest floor of the three-storey building at approximately 5.15am.

Kuala Lumpur Chief Police, Datuk Amar Singh Ishar Singh announced that seven youths aged between 11 and 18 years old were detained to assist in investigations in regards to the fire.

Police said the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.