JITRA: A few more steps towards the door would have taken Teng Wen Yan away from the fire engulfing her home in Jalan Jitra-Kodiang here. Instead, she turned back into the inferno.
The 10-year-old rushed back into the double-storey family shophouse after realising her younger brother Dee Seng was not among fleeing family members.
She never came out alive. Neither did the seven-year-old.
Firemen took seven hours to find the bodies of the siblings trapped under the rubble.
Dee Seng’s body was found on his bed.
Wen Yan’s body was on the floor next to him.
The two SRJK (C) Chung Hwa students were sleeping in a room on the top floor with their elder brothers Dee Shian, 14, and Dee Chun, 11, when their grandfather Teng Yong Chong, 72, shouted at them to wake up after realising the shophouse was on fire at about 12.30am yesterday.
In the rush to safety, Yong Chong got hurt while running down the stairs.
Dee Shian and Dee Chun quickly grabbed him when the grandfather screamed he could not find Dee Seng.
“In the commotion, I did not realise that Wen Yan had rushed back into the house to try rescue Dee Seng,” said a sobbing Dee Shian.
Within minutes the fire engulfed the whole building after razing five other shophouses.
After about 15 minutes, their parents Teng Soon Seng, 41, and Loh Siew Hua, 34, rushed back from a nearby temple.
Loh used a loudhailer to call out to Wen Yan and Dee Seng, hoping against hope that they were merely lost among the gathered crowd.
Hours later, when met at the Jitra Hospital mortuary, the mother said she last saw her children at about 10pm before leaving for the temple.
“Dee Seng wished me goodnight like he always did before going to bed,” said Loh, adding that Wen Yan doted on her younger brother.
Jitra fire station chief Ahmad Zamri Chik said four fire engines from Alor Setar, Jitra and Bukit Kayu Hitam with assistance from about seven voluntary fire-fighting teams managed to douse the fire at about 3.30am.
* Pergh.. sedih giler aku baca citer nihhh ....