Excerpt from The Star :
Published: Tuesday December 22, 2009 MYT 11:41:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 22, 2009 MYT 11:51:54 PM
Fiery destruction in Sarawak
By JACK WONGjackwong@thestar.com.my
KUCHING: A major fire swept through a row of double-storey colonial buildings and destroyed several shops in Gambier Street here on Tuesday night.
The blaze, which was believed to have started from a textile shop at about 9pm, razed at least four shophouses by about 11pm.
At 11.30pm, dozens of firemen in several engines, including a skylift, were still trying to contain the fire from spreading to many other shops housed on both sides in the same row.
There was rain at the time which helped contained the spread.
No casualties have been reported.
The gutted shops were Fabric Accessory House, one of the city’s most established and biggest textile companies, Chaw Chuen Supermarket, ICT Trading Sdn Bhd, which is a one-stop discount store, and Khin Siong Huat, a sundry shop.
The shophouses, which front the Sarawak River and are located near the Kuching Waterfront, was built about 60 years ago.
Opposite them was the former busy Gambier Market which was demolished several months ago for the proposed extension of the Kuching Waterfront project.
The fire, which could be spotted far away, attracted a big crowd and caused a major traffic congestion along roads leading to the city’s oldest commercial centre.
The loss to property is yet to be assessed.
Some shopowners in India Street were seen moving out the goods from their shops, fearing that the blaze could spread.