A double-storey wooden workers’ quarters at Hornbill Sawmill in Bukit Hwang, Parit Hilir in Sarikei was destroyed in a fire, which broke out around 6.30pm on Monday.

When contacted, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) district chief Suna Kahar said they received a distress call at 6.50pm and immediately rushed 17 firefighters to the site across the Rajang River, which is about 15 minutes by boat from town.

By the time the firefighters arrived at the scene, the fire was already at its height, he said, so they were left with the task of preventing it from spreading to the sawmill.

Although the fire destroyed the entire 16-unit quarters, which also housed an office, fortunately all the occupants — who are sawmill workers and their family members — survived the inferno.

Assisting the firefighters were members of the Civil Defence Department (Jpam).

The team depended totally on river water to extinguish the fire.

By midnight their efforts succeeded in preventing the fire from spreading to the main sawmill building and the fire was under full control.

According to the workers, about 50 people from 12 families occupied the quarters.

However, when the fire broke out, some of the families were not in as they had returned to their own homes for Hari Raya Aidiladha.

Bomba is still investigating the cause of the fire and interviewing the victims to estimate total loss.

Source: The Borneo Post