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Jakarta Post

One dead, more than 300 homes destroyed in major Central Sulawesi fire

  • Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Palu, Central Sulawesi   /   Mon, February 3, 2020   /   12:10 pm
One dead, more than 300 homes destroyed in major Central Sulawesi fire A major fire broke out in Baolan district, Toli-Toli regency, Central Sulawesi, killing one resident and reportedly engulfing more than 300 homes on Feb. 2.

A major fire broke out in Baolan district, Toli-Toli regency, Central Sulawesi, killing one resident and reportedly engulfing more than 300 homes on Sunday.

The fire, which started at about 11 p.m. local time, went on for hours until it was finally put out at about 3:30 a.m. on Monday.

“The location was close to the beach. There were strong winds last night, so the fire could spread quickly,” Ichsan Ismail, a local, told The Jakarta Post on Monday morning.

To complicate things, many houses in the district were made out of wood, so they were very vulnerable to fire, Ichsan said. He estimated that there were about 300 homes permanently damaged or destroyed in the fire.

“The fire spread too quickly; we only had a little time to recover essential documents,” he said.

Toli-Toli Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hendro Purwoko said the police recovered one body of a man who had been identified as a 50-year-old resident, Mohammad Saleh, in the wake of the fire.

“The victim was killed in the fire. He was trapped inside his house,” Hendro said.

He said there were about 385 homes burned in the fire, according to a preliminary police report. The police were still investigating the cause of the blaze, he said.

According to information obtained by the Post, Sunday’s fire was the biggest recorded in Central Sulawesi in terms of size and the number of affected properties. (rfa)