SIBU: An early morning fire left 222 people of a 22-door longhouse homeless in Sekuau Settlement Scheme, KM45 Oya Road here.
According to the Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) operations centre, a distress call was received at 3.26am and Bomba immediately deployed firefighters from Sungai Merah and Sibu Central fire stations to the scene.
“But by the time the firefighters arrived at the scene there was nothing much they could do as the fire had destroyed the longhouse,” it said.
The fire was brought under control at 5.05am and extinguished at 6.45am. The fire is believed to have started from the kitchen area of one of the longhouse units
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Meanwhile, the Tamin Service Centre provided food assistance to the fire victims.
Tamin assemblyman Christopher Gira, when contacted by New Sarawak Tribune yesterday, said that the victims were housed at a temporary shelter at Sekuau multi-purpose hall.
“I asked the community leaders as well as the government offices and agencies to look into immediate assistance for the victims, such as food, water and milk powder for the children.”
“We will build temporary houses for each family. I will work with selected suppliers to arrange for building materials and the construction of the temporary houses will be carried out on a gotong-royong basis,” he said, adding that he will provide assistance in terms of food and clothing during this period.
The rest of the assistance will be discussed further upon feedback from the agencies and those involved, he added.