KUALA LUMPUR: The Pudu hawker food street, a heaven for foodies, has been destroyed in an early morning fire, leaving the traders there with an uncertain future.
A row of stalls went up in flames at about 2am yesterday and was razed in about an hour.
The place, better known as Pudu Wai Sek Kai, has stood at the intersection of Jalan Pudu and Jalan Sayur for more than five decades.
Teams of firemen from five stations – Pudu, Hang Tuah, KLCC, Sri Hartamas and Keramat – responded within four minutes when the call came in at 2.02am.
“Low water pressure made it difficult to bring the blaze under control,” said Fire and Rescue Department operational commander Supt Mohd Yunus Ibrahim.
He said the fire was finally put out at 3.13am and 10 stalls were razed.
A 45-year-old helper at a fried chicken stall said she found out about the fire from a shopkeeper.
She said that they finished cleaning and packed up the stall at about 11pm and headed home.
After being alerted by the shopkeeper, they rushed back but by then more than half the stalls were already ablaze.
“We sell about 40 to 50 chickens a day and now without the stall, I’m worried for my boss who is like family to me,” she said, adding that their three refrigerators were also destroyed.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall socio-economic development executive director Datuk Ibrahim Yusoff said that the traders could apply for a temporary or permanent spot at the nearby Pudu Integrated Commercial Complex.
“There are 30 traders affected and we talked to them about moving, prior to the fire,” he said.
“If they plan to rebuild, they can operate at the complex for the time being.”