SIBU: Misfortune befell 142 residents of a longhouse in Nanga Bilat, Entabai in Julau, 94 km from here, when their homes were destroyed in a fire today.

A Sarawak Fire and Rescue Operations Centre spokesman said the residents of the Chat Chemalien longhouse could not do anything to put out the fire due to the lack of water.

He said the fire which took place at about 1pm today destroyed about 90% of the 20-door longhouse.

“The nearest fire station is 71 km away and it takes an hour 24 minutes for a fire engine to arrive at the longhouse,“ he said when contacted here.

He said a team of six firemen who arrived at the scene also found that the only water source there was a small pond.

“The Fire and Rescue Department is still carrying out firefighting operations,“ he said. - Bernama