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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Thursday, 06 October 2016 00:00

Timely Care amidst Raging Fire

Written by  Ong Seng Yeow, Kluang / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Tzu Chi volunteers offered timely aid including relief cash and necessities to the fire victims. [Photograph by Ong Seng Yeow]

Letchumi a/p Munswami’s house was burnt down in a fire, and in these difficult times, the care-giving, relief cash and daily necessities from Tzu Chi and other welfare bodies have helped to comfort the family.


At 11 pm on October 6, 2016, a raging fire burnt down two residential houses at Jalan Resak in Yap Tau Sah, Kluang. Although the fire engine arrived at the scene quickly, the lack of water power had hindered the fire-fighting efforts. Fortunately, the situation was brought under control and no casualty was reported. The fire was believed to be caused by a short circuit.

When the fire occurred, 53-year-old Letchumi a/p Munswami was walking home wearily from work. She had just finished washing the dishes at a nearby restaurant. Upon seeing the crowd and blaze, she hurried home only to find her rented house on fire.

As it was a strong fire, she had no chance to salvage any belongings. When she thought of the electrical appliances, clothing, documents and her salary in cash, she broke down and cried. Luckily, the family of four was not in when the fire occurred.

After receiving news about the fire the following day, Tzu Chi volunteers departed to the site to learn more about the actual situation. They found debris scattered all over the disaster area.

Early in the morning, representatives from the Kluang Indian Welfare Society visited the victims to offer some emotional and financial support. A few State Assemblymen also promised to assist with application for aid from the relevant Government bodies.

Without further delay, Tzu Chi volunteers immediately held a meeting and decided to hand out relief cash and four sets of daily necessities. They even dropped by at the recycling centre to look for suitable second-hand clothing and kitchenware for Letchumi. Their thoughtfulness deeply touched the entire family and helped ease their mind.

A ripple of kindness

Hew Kwai Sang, who is close to 80 years old, stayed next to Letchumi. He was about to go to bed when his wife called him to check out the sounds of breaking glass outside. It was then that he saw his neighbour’s house on fire. He did try to put out the fire but was in vain. Thankfully, with the timely arrival of the firemen and the 20 ft land space between his house and his neighbour’s, his house was not affected.

On the following morning, he saw Letchumi and her family sitting helplessly at the courtyard. It pained Kwai Sang to see all their belongings burnt to the ground hence, he passed them some clothing and cash for immediate relief. He was delighted seeing other people and Tzu Chi volunteers at the scene caring for the victims, and felt that there are indeed still some good people around. He commended the practical aid given by Tzu Chi which goes to show how sincere and thoughtful they are.

Chang Chi Chin, who lost all his possessions in the fire, had stayed in the rented place for 20 years. He was visiting his daughter in Muar when the incident occurred. After learning the news from friends, he is staying with his relatives temporarily.

When volunteers comforted him to face the challenges bravely, he felt blessed instead to have walked away unhurt. Had he been sleeping inside the house that night, he would have lost his life. He is familiar with Tzu Chi as the centre where he goes chanting is not far from Tzu Chi Office. He even received aid from Tzu Chi when his house was flooded a few years ago.

After receiving relief cash and a blessing charm from volunteers this time, he decided to become a donating member and donate regularly to help the poor and needy. A ripple of kindness has made the world a better place.

 

The massive fire burnt all belongings to the ground. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   Upon hearing the news, volunteers immediately set out to find out more from the firemen. [Photograph by Ong Seng Yeow]

The massive fire burnt all belongings to the ground. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
Upon hearing the news, volunteers immediately set out to find out more from the firemen. [Photograph by Ong Seng Yeow]
 
Chang Chi Chin was deeply moved with the relief aid. Thus, he asked to be a donating member to extend help to others. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]   Volunteers managed to collect some kitchenware from recycling centre for the fire victims. [Photograph by Ong Seng Yeow]

Chang Chi Chin was deeply moved with the relief aid. Thus, he asked to be a donating member to extend help to others. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]
 
 
Volunteers managed to collect some kitchenware from recycling centre for the fire victims. [Photograph by Ong Seng Yeow]
 
Photo shows volunteers handing out some second-hand clothes to an Indian victim. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]  

Photo shows volunteers handing out some second-hand clothes to an Indian victim. [Photograph by Lau Poh Ling]