Early morning blaze destroys 14 longhouse units, vehicles in Kampung Long Bangan, Tutoh Apoh

The aftermath of a fire at Kampung Long Bangan in Tutoh Apoh which displaced 14 families on May 28, 2024.

By DayakDaily Team

BARAM, May 29: A fire, suspected to have been caused by a lightning strike hitting a solar panel, engulfed 14 units of a longhouse, a 4WD vehicle, and a motorcycle in Kampung Long Bangan in Tutoh Apoh near Telang Usan on May 28.

The blaze, which originated in Unit 66 of the 102-door longhouse, displaced 14 families, totaling 46 victims, including a paralysed man. Fortunately, all the residents managed to escape safely.


Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak responded to the emergency after receiving a call from Long Leng village chief at about 5am, and a team of firefighters from Marudi Station was mobilised to the scene.

Firefighters faced challenges reaching the remote village, requiring a long journey on slippery logging roads due to the rain.

Some stretches were also dusty, thus reducing visibility. The village lacks communication network coverage.

A 4WD vehicle was destroyed in a fire that consumed 14 units of a longhouse in Kampung Long Bangan in Tutoh Apoh on May 28, 2024.

Upon arrival, firefighters did not conduct operations to extinguish the fire as villagers had already managed to put out the blaze.

According to a report by Civil Defence Force (APM) personnel present at the scene, a resident who woke up due to the smell of smoke discovered the kitchen filled with smoke and alerted others to evacuate.

A victim reported that a thunderstorm at about 4am likely struck a solar panel, leading to the fire. However, the exact cause is still under investigation.

Firefighters gathering information of the victims of a fire at Kampung Long Bangan in Tutoh Apoh on May 28, 2024.
APM team handing over food aid to the fire victims.

Bomba Marudi assisted the Fire Forensic Team from Miri Zone in conducting the investigation.

The cause of the fire and the extent of the losses are still being investigated.

The operation ended at 4.35pm after firefighters gathered all necessary information and ensured the safety of the site.

No temporary shelter was opened as the victims are currently accommodated at relatives’ homes.

The APM team also delivered 14 boxes of food aid to the fire victims. — DayakDaily