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Trader dies trying to retrieve valuables from burning house

IPOH (Jan 9): A trader died in a fire at his house here early today after he ran back into the burning house apparently to retrieve some valuables.

Firefighters found the burnt body of Ooi Hock Chuan, 63, in the living room of the house in Taman Pinji Mewah after they put out the fire, said Pasir Puteh Fire & Rescue Station chief Nashuha Fahd Ahmad Mijar.

He said the station was alerted to the fire by a neighbour at 4.14 am and rushed 17 firefighters in three trucks to the location.

“When the firefighters reached the spot, the fire had destroyed 80% of the double-storey house,” he told Bernama.

Nashuha said the neighbour claimed to have seen Ooi running out of the house but he had gone back in, apparently to retrieve some valuables.

“He must have been overcome by the fast-spreading fire and smoke when he went back into the house. The fire spread quickly because many scrap materials were stored in the house.

“The firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the adjacent houses and put out the blaze completely at 7.39 am,” he said.

Nashuha said Ooi, a trader at the used goods market, was believed to have been single and had lived alone.

The cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained, he said, adding that the body had been handed over to the police.

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