Sarawak’s Century-Old Historic Fort-Turned-Internet Community Centre Was Nearly Destroyed By A Morning Fire

The 132-year-old historical building Fort Renee in Saratok, Sarawak has been partially destroyed by a fire that took place on Sunday morning, 9 August.

Credit: Sarawak Kini & Irwan Yusuf/ Facebook

What you need to know: Fort Renee caught on fire around 10.30 am with an estimated 20% of the historic building destroyed, including a community leaders’ meeting room on the ground floor. The source of the fire is yet to be determined.

Who said what: The Sarawak Fire and Rescue Department’s operations centre said the fire was brought under control in 20 minutes at 10.55am but 790 square metres was engulfed in flames.

Why it matters: Built in 1888 by the second White Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Brooke, Fort Renee had undergone many incarnations for use over 132 years. Initially used as a defence facility and administrative office to collect taxes from the locals of Saratok, it was transformed into the Saratok District Council office for a while. Then in 2014, the building was turned into a community internet centre known as Pusat Internet Fort Renee with the aim of narrowing the digital gap in the local community. With the building partially destroyed by the blaze, the community internet centre is now closed until Bomba personnel have concluded their investigations.


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