MELAKA: Two young sisters died during treatment at the Melaka Hospital while their mother was in critical condition after they were trapped in a fire at a rented room at a four-storey building in Jalan Plaza Mahkota here today.

Melaka Tengah district police chief ACP Christopher Patit said Nur Riaisha Zahra Abdullah, two, and her sister Nuralia Karisa Abdullah, 12, along with their mother, Azliha Ngah Ariffin, 40, were found unconscious by firefighters at the third floor of the shophouse at 1.30 pm.

“A married couple, tenants of a room on the second floor of the building, are in stable condition after they managed to escape before being brought to the same hospital.

“The owner of the shop at the ground floor, who is also the landlord of the building, realised that there was a fire at around 1.30 pm and called 999,” he said in a statement here today.

He said that preliminary investigations revealed that there were 21 rented rooms from the first to the third floor of the building, and only six of those rooms were tenanted and there were only five victims when the fire occurred.

The cause of fire and deaths of the two girls are still being investigated, he said, adding that the police were also trying to track down the family’s next of kin.