Fire destroys two blocks of Bintulu’s Uma Bawang resettlement scheme

Sulok Tawie
Two blocks of the Uma Bawang longhouse were destroyed in a fire this evening. — Picture courtesy of the state Fire Dept

KUCHING, April 15 — Over 100 people from 42 families were made homeless when a late afternoon fire destroyed two wooden blocks of the Uma Bawang resettlement scheme in Sungai Asap, about 230 kilometres from Bintulu town, a spokesman of the state Fire and Rescue Department said.

The spokesman said the Bintulu fire depatment received a distress call about 6.03pm about the fire which quickly engulfed Block D, which housed 19 families while Block E, 23 families.

He said 11 firefighters were dispatched in one fire engine and emergency rescue service vehicle to the scene.

At press time, the state fire department headquarters has yet to receive details of the Uma Bawang fire.

Uma Bawang is one of the 15 resettlement schemes built for over 10,000 people displaced by the construction of the Bakun dam in the 1990s.

They were resettled at Sungai Asap in 1996 while the dam was under construction.

Meanwhile, Hulu Rajang PKR chief Abun Sui Anyit said apart from Block D and Block E of Uma Bawang, a church was also destroyed in the fire.

“However, no human casualties were reported,” he said, adding all properties were destroyed in the fire.

Abun said most of the residents were not at home as they were working outside the area when the fire occurred.

He urged the Welfare Department to move in quickly to provide assistance to fire victims as soon as possible.