MIRI: A group of voluntary firefighters averted what would have been a major fire in the historic Batu Niah town in northern Sarawak.
The Pasukan Bomba Sukarela of Batu Niah – who were trained by the Miri Fire and Rescue Department – doused a fire ravaging a shoplot at around 11pm on Saturday (July 6).
The swift action of the voluntary firefighting squad of 15 men and women prevented the fire from spreading to other shoplots in the town that is adjacent the famous Niah Caves, where the remains of a 60,000-year-old tribe are located.
Batu Niah town is located about 120km south of Miri.
Miri Fire and Rescue Department chief Supt Law Poh Kiong said the fire incident happened in the town centre.
"The voluntary Bomba squad in Batu Niah received a call from the Batu Niah police about the fire.
"The voluntary squad immediately informed Miri Bomba about the fire while 15 voluntary firefighters sprang into action.
"They managed to douse the flames before the arrival of our Bomba team.
"The efficient response of these voluntary firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the other adjacent shops," said Supt Law.
The shoplot was burnt completely in the fire and it was doused at about 12.30pm, he said.
The cause of the fire is being probed.
Batu Niah town has numerous blocks of wooden and semi-wooden shops that were built many decades ago.
The town is the gateway into the Niah National Park where the ancient remains are found inside the Niah caves.