Six fires light up city
in blackout

Abdul Khalik, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

The massive blackout in Java and Bali on Thursday not only crippled the capital's transportation, but also triggered fires at separate six locations in Greater Jakarta as many people lit candles inside their houses or stores.

Husni, a resident of Cimanggis in Depok, had to watch his house burn on Thursday evening after he came back from the mosque after prayers.

He left his house at about 7 p.m. with several candles still burning as the power had not returned.

Husni concludes that the candles fell over and letters and books on the floor in the room had caught fire.

Fortunately, the fire was extinguished at 8 p.m. before it spread to neighboring houses.

At about 8 p.m., two other fires took place in Cilincing, North Jakarta.

Home owners, Suripto and Naah, acknowledged that they left their homes with candles still burning that evening.

Meanwhile, Poltak Sinaga, a resident of Jaka Mulya housing complex in Bekasi, fell asleep during the blackout, and left candles burning in his house.

One of the candles was unintentionally kicked over and fell down on a mattress, causing the fire to spread.

Fortunately, all the family members managed to get out of the house before the fire spread.

In Kalibata, South Jakarta, Hendrik Muchtar lost his shop as he used candles to light the store, while in Karawaci, Sahrun lost several of his rented houses also because of candles that were knocked over and burned the buildings.

Although no casualties were reported in the incidents, the police reprimanded the fire victims.

""It is obvious that their negligence caused the fire ... That's why we told them to be careful when using candles,"" City police spokesman Sr. Comr. Tjiptono told The Jakarta Post.

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