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Firefighters leave religious school Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah after a fire broke out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 14, 2017.

According to reports, people in the area who had woken for morning prayers heard cries for help and saw flames engulfing the top floor of the building, where children were sleeping in dorms.

Malaysian authorities have conclusively identified all 23 victims of Thursday's fire at an Islamic religious school via DNA testing.

He added that if the fire was caused by "mischief" then it would be considered a crime, which falls under the police's jurisdiction.

He said the absence of hinged grills on the second floor was also one of the causes that caused the victims to be trapped in the room.

"The youngsters were sobbing for help, yet I couldn't help them as the entryway was at that point ablaze", he said. "They're still counting the bodies, which were piled on top of each other in a corner", Singh said. Officials suspected an electrical short circuit, with Singh saying that no foul play had likely been behind the incident.

Fire in Kuala Lumpur
NC SCHOOLS The city's fire department has warned about fire safety at the schools

"For the time being, the probe is centred on sudden death and fire, unless there are new leads", said Mohammad Fuzi Harun in his first press conference as the inspector-general of police.

Initial investigations showed the small, all-boys school was operating without a fire-safety permit, though it had applied for one, fire authorities said. He added that it was one of the worst fire tragedies the country has seen in over 20 years. His tweet read: "Innalillah".

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. May the blessed soul of Allah SWT.

"We found that the fire had spread in a odd and unusual way, quickly and in a big way", he told reporters at the scene here.

Hundreds of people, including families of some victims were gathered outside the school, as more bodies were being removed by fire officials.

Students live in numerous religious schools in the country but authorities have raised concerns about the safety measures at these schools because they are unregulated.