No reason to lock away extinguishers, says fire department

Fire safety officer of the Malaysian Fire and Rescue department Thiong Ling Hii today said there is no reason for round-the-clock petrol kiosks to put their extinguishers in storage.

Referring to the recent incident which two BHPetrol attendants refused to loan fire extinguishers to save a woman in a burning car, Thiong said by right every petrol kiosk should place their fire extinguishers at the pump island.

“If there are four (pump) islands in a kiosk, they should have at least two extinguishers. This facilitates our firefighter’s job when responding to an emergency.”

Student Florina ak Joseph was burnt to death in a three-vehicle accident last week as bystander Teo Chai Yong’s  pleas for a fire extinguisher from BHPetrol staff fell on deaf ears.

The BHP representatives claimed the move by the two attendants was purely out of security concerns because the kiosk at Taman Pertama Cheras has a notorious record of burglary and murder cases.

The petrol kiosk has placed the fire extinguishers outside the kiosk after the incident.

However, the question arose as to why the operators were told to store the fire extinguishers inside the kiosk.

Thiong said petrol kiosks are indeed vulnerable to crimes during wee hours.

“We understand that, that’s why we don’t blame them to keep (the extinguishers) inside when the shop is closed,”

“But for 24-hor kiosks, I don’t see why they want to do so.”

Meanwhile, Teo is pressing the government-linked petrol company to explain the matter openly.

“They said I was not acting calmly and I behaved barbaric. If it is true, why don’t they hold a press conference and let the two attendants to clear their names?”

“(The two attendants) might also explain why did they still being negligence even though I showed them my I/C,”

According to the race steward, the two attendants claimed they do not have access to unlock the kiosk’s door.

“But when I asked whether they can come out if their kiosk is in fire, they replied yes.

“They said they could not see the accident, but I am sure they would see (it) if they had come out from the kiosk.”

Teo said he is irked by the way the company has ‘twisted the story’ and denied its responsibility.

The petrol station in the earlier story was not the correct one, according to Teo, saying the BHPetrol station he went to was one alongside Jalan Cheras and not the one marked by BHPetrol on a map.

“We are not asking for compensation or anything, we just want them to tell the story so that everyone can learn a lesson.”

Teo wore a tee shirt, cap and shorts when he approached the kiosk

A Facebook group has been created to boycott the petrol company. It has attracted more than 5000 members.

BHPetrol has yet to reply till press time.

Anonymous BHP attendant at Tmn Pertama refused to speak on the issue, asked media to contact the PR woman directly.
24-hour petrol kiosk should not store their fire extinguisher inside, Fire Safety Department says.