Mentally handicapped teenager dies in fire because he was locked inside his room

An absolutely tragic death occurred in Bendungan Hilir, Central Jakarta, this morning. A 16-year-old teenager named Adrian Parmana was killed by a fire, believed to have been caused by a short circuit, that burned through his home and three others on Jalan Penjernihan.

Adrian was found dead inside his room on the second floor of the house by firefighters. The head of fire fighting operations in Central Jakarta Fire, Commission Muchtar Zakaria, said the victim died because he had been locked inside the room.

“He had been deliberately locked inside [the room] because he was mentally disabled and often left the house,” Commissioner Mustakim said, as quoted by Poskotanews.

According to Mustakim, Adrian had been napping in his room when his father left him to pick up his wife at the Benhil Market. Adrian’s grandparents had been downstairs. 

Adrian’s grandfather, H Dadang, suddenly realized he could smell smoke coming from upstairs before seeing that the house was on fire. He tried his best to save his grandson but was not able to. Other locals at the scene had to pull Dadang out of the burning building before he also became a victim of the flames.

Soon 18 trucks from the local fire department arrived at the scene and were able to put out the blaze. After the fire had been extinguished, they were able to enter the house and retrieve Adrian’s body. 

Neighbors in the area told Poskotanews that Adrian’s father usually kept a very close eye on his son because of his tendency to sneak out of the house and get lost out on the streets of Jakara, which is why he felt he had to lock up the 16-year-old in his room when he left the house.

Although it doesn’t sound like it was nearly as extreme in this case, many people in Indonesia with mental illnesses are kept either locked or chained up, sometimes for years at a time, because their parents or relatives feel they have no other way to take care of them.

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