In an incident that happened on Saturday morning, 4 January, a 28-year-old para-athlete was killed in a fire at his family house in Muar
The para-athlete, Muhammad Ata Maarof, believed to be a worker at a pizza outlet in Kuala Lumpur, was on a five-day holiday at his village
He died after the kitchen at his mother's house in Taman Pagoh Jaya caught fire, New Straits Times reported while citing Pagoh Fire and Rescue Station Operation Commander Jefri Jamal.
"He was unable to save himself from the fire due to his disability, which saw him being paralysed from his waist downwards," Jefri was quoted as saying.
"Initial investigations revealed that the victim was in the kitchen and failed to save himself when the fire began," he said, adding that 60% of the home's permanent structure was destroyed in the fire.
According to Bernama, after the fire station received a call about the fire at 11.59am, it dispatched 18 firemen from Pagoh and Muar in two fire engines to the scene.
He was on the last day of his five-day vacation.
The incident took place after his mother had gone to a nearby shop leaving him alone in the house.
Ata was a bronze medallist in the 55kg powerlifting division
The 28-year-old won the bronze medal after he represented Johor at the 19th Para Malaysian Games (Sukma) in 2018 which were held in Perak.
On Facebook, a fan page of Ras Adiba Radzi, who is a veteran newscaster and president of handicapped people's association OKU Sentral, shared a condolence message for Ata.
Meanwhile, Ata's tragic death has been described as a major loss to national paralympic-sports and Johor by the State Youth, Sports, Entrepreneurship Development and Cooperatives Committee
"The state government will channel any necessary aid immediately through the state Islamic Religious Council (Mainj), Welfare Department (JKM) Maharani foundation that covers housing repairs and daily necessities of the victim's family," its chairman Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said.
Sheikh Umar added that the para-athlete's contributions will always be remembered.