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Four in a family killed in USJ fire

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Just days after holding a Chinese New Year reunion dinner, a couple and their two sons were killed in a blaze, choked by smoke when they were trapped by the iron grille on the windows of their house.

The body of Lim Ah Kok, 58, was found with those of his two sons, Lim Yong Liang, 20, and Lim Yong Wei, 17, in the second room on the upper floor of a double storey terrace house in Jalan USJ 2/3, Subang Jaya.

His wife Goh Bee Khim, 51, was found in the bathroom of the master bedroom.

The couple’s eldest daughter, Lim Yi Jun, 23, was not home as she is staying near her college in Cheras.

The family’s two dogs survived the fire.

It is believed that Lim could have rushed to wake up his sons in the next room before they all succumbed to the smoke.

The early morning blaze yesterday was believed to have been sparked by a short circuit on the ground floor.

Neighbours who heard the screams from the house had alerted firemen, who reached the scene in 10 minutes upon receiving a call at 5.34am.

However, by then, the fire was too big. Selangor Fire and Rescue Department assistant director (operations) Mohd Sani Harul said the firemen had problems trying to enter the house as the front gate was locked. “We had to cut the autogate’s lock,” he said. Another team, added Mohd Sani, managed to get onto the roof of the house through a neighbour’s house to bring the blaze under control and keep it from spreading.

It is learnt that the firemen managed to rescue the dogs, one of which was kept in the house and was found with its fur blackened by the thick smoke.

Subang Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohammad Azlin Sadari said a post­mortem showed that the couple and their sons had died from smoke inhalation, adding that their bodies were not burnt by the fire.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation but he did not rule out the possibility of short circuit.

“We believe that the fire started downstairs, because the victims appeared to be trapped upstairs,” he told reporters at the scene.

Police, he said, believed that Lim had been trying to alert his sons as their bodies were found in the same room.

The family, added ACP Mohammad Azlin, was believed to have been trapped in by the iron grille on the windows.

He urged the public to ensure that they only installed those which could be opened during emergencies.

Source: The Star Newspaper (7 Feb 2017)