A family living in Subang Jaya lost their home in almost an instant after an air conditioning unit in the house sparked a fire
Last Thursday, 15 April, James (not his real name as he would like to remain anonymous) shared on his Instagram account that his parents' home in USJ 20 was burned down, along with most of their belongings.
"It burned everything I've ever owned, from all my guitars, my clothes, my laptop, phone, my television, and my bed," said the Subang resident.
"I walked out of the tragedy sadly with not even the clothes on my back as I was shirtless when the fire broke out."
He shared with SAYS that the fire started in the middle of the day while everyone was at home, but thankfully no one was hurt
James said the fire started in the master bedroom, where an old air conditioner sparked a flame that readily consumed his parents' clothes and wardrobe that were below it.
He was watching a movie with his girlfriend in his room while his parents were downstairs, and none of them realised the fire until it was too late.
By the time the smell travelled into his bedroom and into the dining room where his father was working, they rushed up to find that part of the house was already engulfed in flames and the roof was about to collapse.
James said he tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher but his efforts were in vain.
The family quickly escaped downstairs, grabbing the dogs and running onto the street
Jame's girlfriend said the neighbours were screaming and calling for them to run, and helped to call the fire and rescue department because they were all too shaken.
"The firefighters arrived but the whole floor was already engulfed in flames. The roof collapsed, windows shattered, nothing much was retrieved," she said.
James said his father filed a police report as they lost many important documents and life possessions, such as birth certificates, identity cards, credit cards, passports, academic certificates, and much more.
The family is now staying in a house behind their home that was kindly provided to them by the head of the USJ 20 Rukun Tetangga
"We are so thankful for the roof over our heads. But things are still so hectic. We're trying our best to spend money wisely on the repairs and the workers who are helping us," James said.
"But the neighbours have been very nice, they donated things such as clothes and food to us too. The community support after the tragedy has been really, very overwhelming," he added gratefully.
He shared his story hoping to remind Malaysians of the importance of having a fire escape plan and to improve fire safety in their own homes, such as installing smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
He also referenced how he used to live near a house in USJ 2 where a family of four perished in a fire because they were trapped upstairs.
"This incident has also definitely led me to wonder why we don't have fire escapes for our homes in Malaysia," he observed.
James emphasised, "Please have a fire emergency plan for you and your family. You never think it'll happen to you, but it happened to me."