“Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern”

SOMETIMES misfortune does not have a good sense of timing. But fans of James Bond might recall author Ian Fleming passing the following remark in Goldfinger: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

Well, this James Bond quote is something that the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) cannot agree better as it has unearthed elements of arson and embers to be its main focuses of investigation following the second fire at Wisma Jakel – the renowned garment-cum-textile emporium – in Section 7 Shah Alam early this morning.

“We are still investigating the matter (fire that could be caused by embers in burned fabrics) and taking aspects that we need to analyse. Maybe the embers were somehow left behind or someone went up to do the burning,” he was cited by Bernama as telling reporters at the scene of the fire at Wisma Jakel today.

The second fire at Wisma Jakel this morning (Jan 3) (Pic credit: Selangor Fire and Rescue Department)

“Other aspects will also be looked at and studied in depth. Thus far, there is no conclusion that can be made about this second fire.”

The second fire at Wisma Jakel today affected its curtain fabric storage room at the premises. A total of 43 firemen were mobilised to the scene after the department received a distress call at 12.40am. The fire was completely doused at 3.07am.

Recall that the first fire broke out at the Wisma Jakel building on Monday (Jan 2). Believed to have started at about 7.08am, the fire destroyed 80% of the three-storey shoplot.

Jakel Group managing director Faroz Jakel has estimated losses to be in the region of RM100 mil from the first fire. However, that amount only took into account the damage to the property with other losses, including to the inventory, yet to be determined.

Elaborating further, Norazam said the department needed a period of 14 days to carry out preliminary investigations and analysis, including obtaining witnesses to the incident.

He explained that the department has even mobilised the services of the Detection Dog Unit (K9) – with two English springer spaniel dogs named Woody and Rocco – to detect any substance that could cause a fire.

“Samples will be sent to our investigation laboratory in Bukit Jelutong for analysis. Apart from that, aspects of the wiring and electrical equipment used by the Wisma Jakel building will also be analysed,” he noted.

In the meantime, Norazam said he has opened a forward control centre (FCC) comprising more than 10 personnel as a monitoring and precautionary measure in case of a recurring fire.

“Thus far, the fire has been completely put out, but comprehensive monitoring measures are still ongoing,” he insisted.

In addition, he said members of the public are disallowed from entering the area where the incident took place, unless under supervision accompanied by the authorities.

“Firefighters with the help of Jakel employees will carry out the unloading of all goods, especially fabric that survived the fire, from the Wisma Jakel premises starting today,” he added.

Meanwhile, Shah Alam District Police Chief, Assistant Commissioner Mohd Iqbal Ibrahim, has called on netizens to respect individuals who lost millions of ringgit and those who lost their source of income in the wake of the first fire at Wisma Jakel.

The reminder came following the surfacing of various speculations circulating on social media although the police have yet to receive any reports related to several posts on social media claiming that the fire was intentional. – Jan 3, 2023


Main pic credit: Berita Harian

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