Fire Razes Villas, Restaurant in Seminyak

SEMINYAK ~ Two adjacent villas and a restaurant in the Batu Belig area of Seminyak were gutted by a fire that broke out early on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The fire is believed to have started in one of the villas, The Akasa, a newly constructed property whose staffers at the scene told The Bali Times it was due to open in November.
The other villa was privately owned while the restaurant, Kayu Putih, was popular with local clientele, including expatriate residents.
All three properties had thatched roofs that allowed the blaze to spread, North Bali Police chief Si Darma Putra said.
It took eight units of the fire brigade several hours to extinguish the blaze.
Damage was estimated at some Rp5 billion (US$532,000), a source told The Times at the scene.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started when sparks ignited the roof of The Akasa, and because the roof was grass, the fire spread rapidly.
“The other two buildings, also with alang-alang (thatched) roofs, caught fire when sparks and bits of burning thatch blew onto their roofs up to a kilometer away,” Putra said.
He said firemen had difficulty handling the fires because they were called out to the fire at The Akasa, but then had to split up to extinguish the other two fires and prevent them from spreading to other surrounding buildings.
“The three buildings have been reduced to rubble,” Putra said.
He said the Forensics Department was investigating the cause of the fire and hoped to have answers within a few days.

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