KOTA KINABALU: Hundreds of squatters managed to salvage their makeshift homes after working together to contain the spread of a fire that destroyed more than 80 structures at Kampung Sundang Laut, Batu Sapi, on Wednesday (April 21) morning.
The fire, which started at about 7am, managed to be brought under control with only 30 squatter homes razed after firemen arrived not long afterwards.
Sandakan Fire and Rescue Department chief Martin Thomas said they received a distress call at about 7.55am and reached the scene 17 minutes later.
He said firemen, with the help of villagers, had to use the fire-break method to minimise the damage and stop the fire from spreading further.
There are a total of 280 squatter houses in this village.
“Among the fire-break methods used were to destroy the damaged structures and bridges so that the flames would stop there, ” Martin said.
The fire was brought under control at around 9.17am.
No casualties were reported in the incident and investigations into the cause of the fire are underway.
Meanwhile, Sekong assemblyman Alias Sani said most of the victims will be placed at the Batu Sapi People’s Housing Project (PPR) multipurpose hall.
He said others will be placed at the village community hall and their relatives’ houses.