The blaze broke out before dawn on Thursday in the two-storey building of the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah school, located in the centre of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Also, seven people were admitted to the nearby hospital while eleven other students are rescued from the fire accident. Officials said firefighters controlled the fire in less than an hour. Police later updated the death toll to 22 students and two teachers.
He says the school submitted an application for a fire safety permit that hadn't been approved.
A cramped hostel and locked emergency exits were among the discoveries found by the state Fire and Rescue Department team, during an inspection held at a tahfiz school here today.
"I saw their little hands out of the grilled windows; crying for help". A Minister said the incident should be quickly investigated, the BBC report said. And the fire accident took place on the top floor of the building which totally consists of three floors.
JBPM director-general Datuk Wan Mohd Nor Ibrahim said they were now investigating from the point of negligence and technicality and the investigation was expected to take two to three weeks.
At least 15 bodies were found huddled together on another floor, it was reported.
"From what we understand, there was only one way out, but they couldn't get through because it was on fire", said his brother, Faizal Abdullah. "I was very saddened to read (about) the fire at Pusat Tahfiz Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah and that more than 20 lives were lost".
The officials doubted that an electrical short circuit caused the blaze that broke out in a top floor dormitory, where most of the students perished.
He said the victims who were students were all boys aged between 13 and 17.
More than 60 percent of multicultural Malaysia's population of about 30 million are Muslim Malay, and the country is also home to substantial religious and ethnic minorities.
Safety concerns have been raised time and again following a series of fire incidents at such private religious schools.
They are unregulated by the education ministry, being the responsibility of the religious department.