KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will assist in the effort to provide houses for the residents of Kampung Lok Urai, Pulau Gaya, near here, whose homes were destroyed in a fire on Thursday (March 11), said Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.

He said the efforts included a study to redevelop the village to provide a more comfortable life for the residents and their families.

"The government will look into how we can help them because those involved are Sabahans. We will find ways to help them so that they can resume their lives in the new homes.

"We will study the situation in the area and also the population there," he told reporters after visiting the fire victims housed at the Sembulan Multipurpose Hall temporary relief centre here today.

During the visit, he also presented donations to 65 heads of families in the form of RM500 cash and food.

The fire left 200 villagers homeless when 73 houses on the water were completely destroyed, while another 757 homes were saved, thanks to swift action of the Fire Department.

Fire victim and aid recipient Sillia Comesendo, 43, said the aid was important in easing the burden especially in ensuring her four children could continue attending school.

"Many thanks to the government and NGOs but we really need a house. I have four school-going children, three in primary and one secondary schools," she said.

Another fire victim, Ibrahim Ahmad, 73, said he was grateful and thankful for the assistance given by the NGO to him and his family.