Gawai joy goes up in flames for Dayaks

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 04 Jun 2003

KUCHING: The Gawai Dayak has been a fiery affair this year, as a spate of fires has left many families in the state homeless.  

Most of them were Dayaks, who had their harvest festival celebration dashed. 

One fire destroyed 10 wooden houses in Kampung Sinong, Bintulu at about 1am on Monday. 

The houses were occupied by Dayak workers who had returned to their longhouses for the festival. The blaze partially damaged a sundry shop. 

Two other fires that left 11 families homeless were reported on Gawai eve. 

One of them involved 48 villagers from seven families in Rumah James Medan in Tamin, about 59km from Sibu. 

The blaze broke out at about 8pm last Friday as villagers were busy preparing for Gawai. 

Quick action by the villagers managed to contain the fire before it spread to the other units of the 41-door longhouse. 

In Miri, four families lost their homes in Jalan Trusan Utama, Pujut 5.  

Low water pressure due to the hot spell hampered firemen’s efforts to put out the fire. 

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