Published: Thursday December 6, 2012 MYT 3:28:00 PM
Updated: Thursday December 6, 2012 MYT 10:30:09 PM
Fire at Ehsan Ria Condominium in Petaling Jaya (Updated)
PETALING JAYA: The penthouse at Block A of the Ehsan Ria Condominium caught fire Thursday afternoon and the smoke was visible for many kilometres, according to eyewitnesses.
Firefighters rushed to Section 12 where the condominium is located and the gateposts at the entrance of the condominium had to be broken to accommodate the larger fire truck, which had the longer ladder as the penthouse is at the 24th floor, said resident Arun Venugopal, 41, who stayed home Thursday because he was unwell.
He said that the fire alarm did not go off and he was alerted by friends, who had seen the smoke, and rushed down.
A heavy downpour that began soon after the fire started helped put out the blaze by 3.30pm.
Ambulances were at the scene. But there did not appear to be casualties.
Block A was cordoned off as shattered glass had fallen, said another resident Kavitha Narayani, 34.
Residents of Block A were evacuated and were milling about at the lobby of Block B, she said.
As it is school holidays, there were many children among the 300 people at the lobby.
It is learnt that residents were later allowed back in while electricity supply resumed only after 9pm.
Meanwhile, Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul said they received the distress call at 2.42pm before several fire trucks rushed to the scene.
"As we battled the high-rise inferno, we had major assistance from mother nature, as a heavy downpour began at about 2.50pm and the fire was brought under control by 3.13pm,” Sani said.
A fire fighter identified only as Safri suffered a deep gash on his right arm when a large piece of glass fell on him.
Fortunately, he was quick enough to protect his head with his arms.
The firefighter received first aid treatment at the scene by medical personnel before he was sent to the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) for further treatment.
The roof above the penthouse was completely destroyed in the fire but there was no other structural damage reported.
Several vehicles parked in the open car park suffered minor damages caused by the falling debris.
The fire was finally put out at 4.20pm.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but fire and rescue forensics personnel do not discount the possibility it was caused by a short circuit due to the renovation work or because of a lightning strike.