?OTA BARU: Fourteen small hostel units of Madrasah Muhammadiah Beta Hilir religious school here were destroyed in a fire yesterday evening.
No casualty was recorded following the blaze which broke out at 7.30pm, as all 24 students who had occupied the hostels were congregating at a nearby surau.
School principal Mohd Jalaludin Asayuti Mohamed said the students, aged between 13 and 21, were reciting the Yassin after performing Maghrib prayers when the incident happened.
“One of the students realised that the hostel was on fire when he saw smoke billowing from a unit. He then proceeded to inform a teacher.
“While waiting for the firemen to arrive, we tried to put out the fire but failed,” Jalaludin said when met at the scene.
He said all of the students’ belongings went up in smoke.
Meanwhile, state fire services and rescue department operation assistant director Hussin Ab Rahman said 29 firemen took about 20 minutes to put out the fire after arriving at the scene at 7.50pm.
He said cause and losses in the fire were still under investigation.