KOTA KINABALU: Fire broke out in the water village of Kampung Lok Urai, Pulau Gaya here, last night destroying 73 stilt houses and leaving more than 200 people homeless.

The Sabah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), in a statement today said 40 fire firefighters from the Kota Kinabalu, Lintas and Penampang stations were dispatched to the scene after receiving a distress call at 8.32 pm.

"Upon arrival, the fire was still raging and the fire-fighting operation was conducted using an open water source. Firefighters managed to control the fire from spreading to 757 houses in the surrounding area.

"The operation to put out the fire ended at 12.37am and no injuries or casualties were reported," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Sabah Disaster Management Committee Secretariat, in a separate statement said two temporary evacuation centres have been opened to accommodate 79 victims from 14 families.

It said that 58 victims from 12 families were housed at Dewan Sembulan while 21 other victims involving two families were placed at Dewan Serbaguna Likas here.