According to Bernama, some 100 squatter houses on a 12ha piece of land in Kampung Tanjung Batu Laut, Tawau were destroyed in a fire which started at about 8pm.
Tawau Municipal Council Deputy President Ismail Mayakob, who was at the scene, said as at 11pm, the Fire and Rescue Department was still trying to extinguish the flames.
He said the firemen were facing problems trying to fight the fire because of the huge area involved, the close proximity of the wooden houses and low water pressure.
Ismail said firemen were also hindered by residents who were running to and fro trying to rescue their belongings from the blaze.
The cause of the fire and casualties have yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile, Bernama stringer Ismail Lamo reports that some residents were seen tearing down houses to prevent the fire from spreading.