Late yesterday evening, Walski had just returned from the Bangsa Malaysia get-together (more on that later in a separate post, but check out MageP's Lab for a taste), when 3 explosions could be heard. By the sound of it, the explosions would have come from within somewhere in the immediate 2-kilometer radius. The Mrs & Walski initially thought it was fireworks, but going to the window, we quickly decided it was otherwise.
Looking out, from a location West-Northwest from where Walski lives, a huge plume of flamy black smoke could be seen emanating from just beyond the tree line. And so, with the Mrs tagging along, Walski went to investigate. Does sound a little kay-poh (busy-body) of us, huh? But it did look like the fire was pretty close by - close enough to be concerned.
What we found out was that one of the factories in the nearby industrial estate (Subang Jaya Industrial Area in Sungai Buloh) had indeed caught fire. It was the factory and warehouse buildings, adjacent to the corporate office, of a prominent water filter company (Walski will withhold the indentity of the company for now).
Factory ablaze... just next to the corporate office
Fortunately, there were no casualties in this blaze. Bystanders whom Walski asked had said the factory was closed at the time, and there were no personnel in the factory at the time the fire started. Going by when the explosions were heard, Walski puts the fire starting at around 2330 - 2345 hrs last night.
(more pictures and some observations, in the full post)
The Fire and Rescue units were already there by the time Walski arrived at the site, which was around 0015 hrs. One fire truck had already been there (don't know at what time), and another arrived around the same time Walski did.
Bomba guys dousing the exterior to prevent structural collapse
One obersvation that Walski needs to point out - if you ever do want to go watch a fire like this, make sure that your vehicle, and self, do not get in the way of the fire & rescue vehicles. Particularly if there are casualties, when the ambulance needs immediate access. Malaysians being Malaysians, many parked their cars right in front of, or adjacent to, the factory on fire. This can be pretty risky, as you never know how the fire might spread. The last thing you'd want is for your vehicle to be part of the fire, right?
The Fire Department personnel did their best to ensure that the structure didn't collapse, by dousing the exterior with as much water as possible. Walski doesn't know what it was that exploded, nor does he know the cause of the fire. In all probability, it probably was some compressed (but non-flammable) gas, which most factories have. The fire & rescue personnel were busy enough trying to fight the fire for Walski to ask them what was going on. The dark plume of smoke - usually indicating hydrocarbons of some variety - would probably have come from the good deal of plastic materials you'd expect to find in a water filter manufacturing and warehousing facility.
View from the side
Just keep an eye out in the news on this - should be in the papers by tomorrow.
By the time Walski left the scene at around 0125 hrs this morning, the fire was still being contained within the factory and warehouse area, with the Fire & Rescue unit trying their best to prevent the office block from being engulfed in flames as well. Walski could see the Bomba folks in the office section (from their torchlight beams), making sure that the fire had indeed been contained.
As of 1100 hrs this morning, there was no more smoke from the location where the factory is. However, Walski has no further details on the extent of the damage, or if the office section survived the blaze. As mentioned above, stay tuned to the news...
One final observation - it's extremely difficult to take photos at night without a tripod, or some other support device. Walski had taken a number of shots, but unfortunately most of them came out pretty blurry. Either that, or Walski needs one of those cams that TV Smith has... and steadier hands!