KOTA KINABALU: Three young siblings, including a pair of twins, were burnt to death in a fire at a plantation in Semporna on Sunday (Apr 15) in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Semporna police chief Superintendent Peter Umbuas said the twins, identified as Harmasius Roman and Fonsaliana, five, and their brother Amsalinus, four, were found dead in the kitchen of the house.
He said they were home alone during the fire as their father had gone to pick up their mother.
"When the father left, the back door of the house was locked while the victims were in the living room and the front door was left unlocked.
“On their way home, the parents saw smoke billowing from the quarters and rushed back,” he said in a statement.
Police said the father tried to rescue his three children but failed as the fire spread quickly due to the wooden structure of the house.
Initial findings suggested that the children might have been playing with matches, the Star newspaper reported, citing police.
Rescuers were alerted to the fire at 7.47pm and it was completely put out at 9.43pm.
According to the Star, the firefighters were overcome with emotion on seeing the children's bodies.
“The fire was already too strong when we arrived. We tried our best,” the report quoted a firefighter as saying.