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IPOH: A fire destroyed the factory building of a healthcare provider and pharmaceutical company, Hovid, on Jalan Kuala Kangsar here last night.

Perak Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) Operations Division assistant director Sabarodzi Nor Ahmad said firefighters from the Ipoh fire and rescue station reached the scene within nine minutes after receiving a distress call at 10.25 pm.

He said that the operation to extinguish the fire was also assisted by 51 personnel from the Simpang Pulai, Pasir Putih and Pekan Baru fire stations, as well as the Bercham Volunteer Fire Brigade.

“The fire had already spread to 80 per cent of the class A building, measuring 70 ft x 60 ft, when firemen arrived at the scene.

“There were chemicals, including chlorine and alcohol, within the premises, leading to suspicions of a chemical leak,” he said in a statement.

According to Sabarodzi, a team from the Hazardous Materials Unit (Hazmat), which was also at the scene to assess the level of leakage, recorded an initial reading of 100 PPM for ammonia and 0 PPM for chlorine.

“The Hazmat team had sprayed water at the site to ensure that the area was completely safe.

“The area was declared safe when the second ammonia reading came in at 20 PPM, and the operation ended at 2.07 am,” he said. - Bernama