7 shophouses up in smoke

By Gary Adit

It took 47 firemen from five stations four hours to contain Gambier Street blaze; no lives lost

KUCHING: A section of the city’s historical heritage went up in smoke last night when a massive fire destroyed seven pre-war shophouses along Gambier Street.Miraculously, there were no reports of any injury in the 8.30pm incident, which continued on until midnight.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started from two units belonging to a fabric shop, which then rapidly spread to adjacent lots to its left and right.

Among the businesses razed in the blaze were a discount store, supermarket and a sundry goods store.

A total of 47 firefighters from five stations – Padungan, Tabuan Jaya, Petra Jaya, Batu Lintang and Siburan – responded to the scene in six engines after a distress call was received at 8.47pm.

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There was a massive traffic jam around Padang Merdeka this afternoon – well it could be last minute Christmas shopping or most people just want to have a look at the charred buildings. I could still see smoke coming from that area though, something could still be burning!