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PETALING JAYA: The house of Sarawak deputy minister, Datuk Gerawat Gala was razed in a fire in Kampung Pa’ Umor, Bario, Sarawak, early yesterday morning.

Marudi fire and rescue station had received an emergency call at around 1.40am, state Fire and Rescue Department Chief of Operations Henderi Ardimansyah was quoted as saying.

Six members of the Bario Volunteer Fire Brigade were immediately activated to carry out the fire extinguishing operation, as reported by Astro Awani.

“The operation was further assisted by 20 officers and army personnel stationed at Bario, as well as villagers,” said Henderi.

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According to him, due to the distance between the Marudi fire and rescue station and the location of the incident being about 460 kilometers and that it takes 20 hours away by land, they had to use the services of a MI17 fire helicopter to conduct forensic work.

“Initial investigations found that the fire involved a private single-storey house on columns which burned down completely.

“All seven occupants including Gerawat were reported safe and managed to escape during the incident,“ he said.

Gerawat, who is also the state Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department (Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) returned to the scene of the incident to assist the investigation team in gathering information.

Estimated losses are still under investigation.

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