Tuai rumah gets recognition for quick action in saving longhouse from fire
By:Noor Syahhira Hady

KUCHING: While being a hero in the movies is easy, it is totally the opposite in real life.

The term ‘Not all heroes wear capes’ applies to Stevens Gadis Nyua, the tuai rumah of Sungai Seputan Selaut, Julau.

The teacher at SK Nanga Lubok Assam managed to put out a fire in his longhouse that occurred on the first day of Gawai this year.

Due to his bravery, quick thinking and heroic act, the Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) awarded him with the Bomba Hero certificate during the five-in-one appreciation and handover ceremony at the Sarawak Bomba headquarters today.

Recalling that day, the 58-year-old shared that like every Gawai, they would have a prayer ceremony for each of the bilik (unit) in the longhouse.

“After the prayers, I remember I was sitting at my ruai (which is located at the end of the longhouse) waiting for the food to be served.

“While waiting, we heard someone screaming ‘Api! Api! Angus rumah kitai’ in the middle of the longhouse.

“During that time, I did not think of anything else except to put out the fire and ensuring the children are safe,” he told New Sarawak Tribune after the award ceremony.

He added that there was actually a fire extinguisher right next to him but he decided to run over to Bilik 7 (where the fire started) and grab the fire extinguisher there instead.

“I quickly extinguished the fire before it spread elsewhere.

“Thank God, the fire managed to be put out and it only damaged the living room of Bilik 7, not the whole longhouse.”

When asked about the cause of the fire, he said someone forgot to put out the candles.

“I am not sure why we were careless at that time but thank God, the damage caused was not much and no one was hurt.”

Stevens reminded longhouse folk to always be vigilant and to know what to do in case a fire breaks out.

“That is why I urge longhouse residents to arm themselves with the knowledge on how to extinguish a fire and the use of fire extinguishers.

“It is important for the fire extinguisher to be placed somewhere that people can see. It is also better to have a lot of fire extinguishers ready (in the longhouse).”

He expressed his thanks to Bintangor Bomba for teaching him how to react in case of fire.

“I hope that other longhouses and their inhabitants would take the initiative too to learn how to handle fire incidents.

“As for the children, if they are taught how to extinguish fires at schools, they too need to play their role by teaching the folk in the longhouses so that they know.”

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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