July 13, 2009
Sibu News : Fire in Tiong Hua Road
Fire broke out in a mee stall-cum-wooden home at Lane One Tiong Hua Road Sibu early this morning (13/7/09).
The photos were taken by Steve Ling (http://stevelinglt.blogspot.com) of Going Places.
A fire razing a wooden house is usually very tragic as the whole home can be gone within minutes. There has also been little awareness in fire safety in most of these wooden and old houses of Sibu. Furthermore insurance coverage is not readily available or affordable.
Most of the houses in Tiong Hua Road have been built more than 50 years ago. These residential units are of very unique but functional design. Tiong Hua Road remains one of the most congested residential areas of Sibu even by today's standards. It is also one of the first built up residential areas in Sibu when the population began to rise rapidly after the Second World War and the rural-urban migration started with the fall of rubber prices and rural unrest caused by Communist insurgency.
In the past it was quite common to find three families sharing a ground floor unit of three rooms and one common kitchen. An air well serves as an open bathing and washing space with one single toilet only. The first floor would accommodate just as many families. Today it might be better.
Life was difficult indeed but those were the days of struggle and saving money. Every one rode bicycles while many would just walk as the area is just at the periphery of the town.
Personally I have very fond memories of the road. Firstly my wedding dress came from one of the home based dress maker who rented out wedding dresses. I chose the one she wore herself at the price of only 60 dollars! the dress was a cotton lace gown which has great vintage value today if it can be found. I made my own hairpiece and veil.
My other good memory of the road is the kompia stall located at the end of the road. I believe it is still there and even more popular today.
Many of my school friends lived in Tiong Hua Road !!
Later many families moved out of Tiong Hua Road to wealthier suburbs when they acquired their fortunes.
Tiong Hua Road will always be put of our childhood memories.