Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - A fire ravaged the areas of Sungai Bali Village in Pulau Sebuku Subdistrict, Kotabaru District, South Kalimantan Province, on Saturday evening, destroying hundreds of houses and public facilities, a local military officer said.

Due to the flames, several hundred houses and many public facilities, including houses of worship and a police dormitory, got destroyed, Commander of the Kotabaru 1004 Regional Military Command Lt.Col.Rony Fitriyanto said here on Sunday.

Luckily, the blaze did not cause any casualty but it destroyed a backhoe of PT Silo that the rescue workers used for saving the survivors, he said.

Rony Fitriyanto said his men deployed to assist those affected by the fire by providing them with humanitarian aid, emergency tents, a public kitchen, and health service.

"Based on a preliminary report, some 400 houses got destroyed. As a result, 1,800 people become homeless," he said, adding that local government officials had arrived at the disaster zone to ensure that the affected people's basic needs could have been met.

Fire accidents remain a serious threat to residents living in many cities and towns across Indonesia.

In October, a fire blazed through some 40 semi-permanent homes in East Jakarta, resulting in the forced displacement of some 100 people.

The fire destroyed 40 homes located behind the Signature Park Apartment on MT Haryono Street in Cawang, East Jakarta, according to Head of the neighborhood association (RT) 05 Muhammad Yusuf.

Most occupants of the scorched homes were scavengers, app-based motorcycle taxi drivers, and private company employees, he pointed out.

He said he not not aware of the reason behind the fire. However, an officer of the East Jakarta Fire and Rescue Department believed a leakage in a gas cylinder hose caused the fire.

As revealed by the healthy working lives' website, several common fire related hazards include electricity, smoking, cooking, heating appliances, and combustible materials.

The causing factor which is related to electricity is, for instance, neglecting or misusing wiring that may lead to short circuits.

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Translator: Ulul M, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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