Sawmill factory fire results in millions of ringgit loss

THE FIRE AT ITS HEIGHT: Firefighters trying to douse the fire.

SIBU: Millions of ringgit of losses were incurred after a sawmill factory in Rantau Panjang was razed yesterday.

The owner, who requested anonymity, said about 100 locals and Indonesian workers of the factory were unhurt and the workers quarters near the factory were not affected.

He said the fire broke out in the more than a decade old factory at around 3.30pm.

A local worker said the plywoods that were destroyed cost over RM2million.

She said the ply woods were to be sold to Johor.

Another worker said some heavy machineries were also destroyed, but not the new ones placed in another factory next to the razed factory.

Sibu zone Bomba chief Abdul Mutalib Rashid said two fire engines from the Central Station and Sg Merah were sent to the scene with 17 firefighters.

“We managed to control the fire within 15 minutes but it would take us some time to completely put out the fire,” he told reporters.

He said they received the distress call at 3.42pm and arrived at the scene at 4.15pm.

Abdul Mutalib said they encountered low water pressure initially but the problem was rectified after the water board helped to increase water pressure.

He added that they took a few minutes to install the fire hydrant.

“This is because a metal component part was missing from the fire hydrant,” he said, saying thieves had stolen the metal parts of hydrants in Rantau Panjang.

“At the moment, we use an equipment to address the problem while waiting for the affected fire hydrants to be replaced,” he said.

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