KOTA KINABALU - Residents at the Kampung Panji water village came together to put out a fire and prevent the blaze from possibly turning into a tragedy.
But their quick actions were not enough to stop the fire, which started at a wooden house, from destroying seven houses in the 5.15pm incident on Thursday.
Firemen who arrived at the scene some 20 minutes after the fire was reported managed to bring the blaze under control at about 6pm.
Semporna police chief Supt Peter Umbuas said no one was injured in the incident.
He commended the villagers' swift action and co-operation in helping to prevent the fire from spreading.
"Only seven houses were burnt down with no casualty reported," he said when contacted.
However, he reminded the public to always think of their safety first and not do anything out of their control during emergencies.
Supt Peter also dismissed claims on social media that over 3,500 structures were razed with over hundred casualties reported from the fire.
He warned the public against spreading unverified information that could cause panic.