‘There was a fireball’: Residents recount events of North Jakarta fuel storage depot blaze that killed at least 18

Mr Sahlan, another resident affected by the blaze, said that he saw a lightning strike on the night of the incident.

“After a while, I saw some sparks in the Pertamina compound … but there was no fire yet so I still sat around my house.

“Later, when the fire started, I left my house immediately. If I had stayed on to pack my belongings, I would not have made it out,” Mr Sahlan, who goes by one name, told CNA, adding that a foul smell filled the air as he left his house.

“There was no warning at all. Suddenly, there was a fireball … I ran away from my house without taking anything with me at all. Not money nor any of my belongings.”

As of Monday morning, about 193 people remained at the evacuation centre, according to Mr Syarief Hidayutallah, the deputy secretary for the North Jakarta region of the Indonesian Red Cross.

He told CNA that the evacuation centre will remain in operation for a period of seven days following the fire on Friday night.

“Moving forward, that is something that needs to be discussed,” he said, adding that the centre has stopped accepting food donations.

“What we are hoping for in terms of donations are school supplies for the children – that is something we have yet to receive to this day.”

At the evacuation centre, Mr Hidayutallah said that they provide counselling and trauma healing sessions for those affected by the blaze.

“We also play with the children so that they are able to forget about what had happened the night of the fire,” he said.

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