15-door longhouse in Sg Asap destroyed by fire

The fire at its height.

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SIBU, Jan 5: One of 15 longhouses in Uma Baha Bakun Resettlement Scheme, Sungai Asap, Belaga was destroyed by fire today, resulting in 68 people being made homeless.

The State Fire and Rescue Department in a statement said the victims from Block F comprised 20 men, 30 women and 14 children.

“Block F with 15 doors was completed destroyed by fire while Block E is about 45 per cent damaged,” it said.

The department said the fire was brought under control by voluntary firefighters from Uma Daro Liling before firefighters from Belaga fire station arrived.

A resident of Block V, Umie Liau said at the time of the fire, residents in the area were all very worried that the fire would spread to their longhouses.

“Our longhouses were built 20 years ago and they are located quite close to each other. The distance between the back of every longhouse is between 10 to 15 feet. We were all very scared that the wind would fan the fire to the other longhouses,” she said.

Umie said all they could do then was to pray very hard that the other longhouses would be safe.

“Thank God! He answered our prayers for help,” she said.

At the time of the fire, she said people from neighbouring areas and other longhouses also came to help to put out the fire, which took about an hour to bring under control.

The longhouse residents are mainly Kenyah. — DayakDaily