Six people were killed when a fire broke out in an entertainment centre in Ipoh, the Perak Fire & Rescue Department said.
The dead were four men and two women, both believed to be Vietnamese.
A Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson said the deceased were identified as Tai Chee Kin, 36, Lau Wai Hoong, 37, Vietnamese nationals Nguyen Thi Thuy Duong and Nguyen Thi Thrang, a Bangladeshi man and another victim whose identity is also still unknown.
A critically injured victim was identified as Ng Kok Eng, 39.
Firefighters responded to a call at 5.49am reporting a fire on the fourth floor of the entertainment centre in Jalan Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.
Thirty-nine firefighters were deployed to the centre, where they were confronted with thick smoke in the building. They rescued some of the people who were trapped, among whom were 10 locals.
“Initially, we were told there were 10 victims inside, and when we arrived eight of them had run up to the sixth floor,” said Perak Fire and Rescue Department acting director Sayani Saidon.
“We used a skylift to bring the eight down, two of whom had severe breathing problems and were sent to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital, while the other six suffered minor breathing issues. “After searching the fourth floor, we found the first two bodies of the local men along the exit way,” she said, adding that in total there were in total 14 people inside.
Sayani said after further looking through 15 karaoke rooms, they found one body in one of the rooms and three more inside a toilet.
The deceased and injured were taken to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital.
Sayani revealed that the cause of death was smoke inhalation.
“We are still investigating the cause of the fire,” she added.
Sayani said the eight-storey building was previously an office block, adding that she would need to check when the premises were converted into an entertainment outlet.
Ipoh deputy OCPD Supt Mohd Nordin Abdullah said the police would investigate the operating hours of the outlet.
“We are not sure whether the outlet was still in operation at the time or if the staff were cleaning up the place,” he added.