Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.
Editor’s note: Story last updated with additional details at 7.20pm.
By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, July 15: A total of 167 villagers from Rh Lepang Sayat in Engkilili, Lubok Antu were left homeless after their longhouse was ravaged by fire earlier this afternoon.
According to Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) operations centre, they received a distress call at 1.48pm.
Fifteen firefighters from Sri Aman fire station were despatched to the site, which was 46km away.
It took them one hour and ten minutes to reach the longhouse.
Sri Aman zone fire chief Nik Muhd Afiq Nik Roslan said by the time they arrived, the whole 26-door (pintu) double-storey longhouse was completely reduced to ashes.
The fire engine also had difficulties reaching the longhouse due to narrow passage and the nearest water source being a river about 1km away.
“Seven members of the volunteer fire brigade teams (PBS) consisting of four from Engkilili headed by Awang Said Awang Dollah and three from Lubok Antu headed by Timothy Tau assisted in the initial stage of fire. However they faced restrictions and difficulties to put the fire out as there are no fire hydrants around the longhouse. They had to source water from a nearby drain. The hot scorching weather as well as strong wind didn’t help either,” Nik Muhd Afiq said.
According to initial investigations, longhouse chief Lepang Gerang said the fire was believed to have started from one of the wooden kitchens.
They tried to put the fire out by using four fire extinguishers but failed.
No injuries or deaths were reported. — DayakDaily