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Increase in Residential Fires a Concern - NFA CEO

Twenty-seven (27) people have been left homeless in five separate fire incidents that occurred in the past four days.

NFA continues to raise great concerns on the alarming increase in the fire incidents that could have been avoided.

In a fire incident at Sabeto, Nadi on Tuesday, 26th October 2021, a three-flat corrugated iron and timber house was destroyed in a fire.

The National Fire Authority (NFA) was alerted of the house fire at 2.32 am and the fire team from the Nadi Fire Station responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the fire team found the three flat house fully engulfed in flames. The team quickly used one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire.

In a second fire incident at Nadovi, Sonaisali in Nadi on Monday, 25th October 2021, a five bedroom corrugated iron and timber house and a mechanical workshop was destroyed in a fire.

NFA was alerted of the house fire by a 910 emergency call at 3.04 pm and the Nadi fire team responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the fire team found the house fully engulfed in flames. The team quickly used one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading.

In another fire incident at Navolu Back Road in Ba also on Monday, 25th October 2021, a farm-house was destroyed.

NFA was alerted of the house fire at 12.55 pm and the fire team from the Ba Fire Station responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the fire team found the vacant house fully engulfed in flames. The team quickly used one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and stop its spread to other neighboring houses.

It is believed that the house was vacant for months and the owner resides Overseas.

The National Fire Authority is also investigating into a fire incident that occurred on Sunday, 24th October 2021 at Waikamu in Nadi.

The NFA was alerted of the house fire by a 910 emergency call at 11.42 am and the fire team from Nadi Fire Station responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the fire team found the house fully engulfed in flames. The team quickly used one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire.

It is believed the house was vacant for a few years now.

In another fire incident that occurred on Saturday, 23rd October 2021, two houses were destroyed in the incident.

NFA was alerted of the house fire by a 910 emergency call at 9.18 pm and the fire team from Nadi Fire Station responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the fire team found a two-bedroom house on fire which had spread to a neighboring house. The fire team quickly used one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire.

NFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Puamau Sowane said: “It is sad to see 27 people are now homeless and have lost their belongings in the fire during trying times like this”.

“The Current dry and windy weather conditions in the Western Division have been the major contributing factors for the quick spread of fire damage. The general public needs to realize this and start being very vigilant and careful with fire safety in their homes.”

“We cannot depend on others to prevent our homes from fires, it is our individual business to look after our homes and prevent it from being destroyed by fire. Fire Safety is everyone’s responsibility and we cannot be complacent about fire safety. As we approach the festive season, it is our responsibility as individuals to focus on fire safety and precautionary measures put in place to prevent fires from damaging our homes”, he said.

“The increase in residential fire incidents indicates that people are being very careless are not taking fire safety seriously around their homes and properties. We urge members of the public to listen to our advices through all media outlets and take heed of it. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility! The NFA teams are always ready to respond to any fire incident and we are always available to provide important advice to any home owner or tenant on how best to prevent fire from damaging their belongings and property”, he said.

“NFA also strongly advises the general public to avoid careless burning of rubbish and shrubs outside and in backyards. The current dry and windy weather conditions we are currently experiencing can aggravate the spread of small fires into major fires that can destroy homes and even lives”, he said.

“It is a very sad experience to see people lose their belongings, properties, farms and livestock especially during this difficult time currently faced by Fijians due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, he added.

NFA has noted that, many home owners and neighbors try to attend to put out fire by themselves and later call NFA when the fire becomes unmanageable and at a very late stage. NFA urges the public to call on the toll-free fire emergency number 910 as soon as possible if they see any suspicious smoke or fire so that firefighters can respond in the quickest time.

NFA is carrying out its investigations into the five fire incidents to ascertain their causes.

 

-End-

Established by virtue of the National Fire Service Act, 1994 the National Fire Authority assumed responsibilities to provide fire services for the entire nation of Fiji in February 1995.

 

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