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NFA Attends to Five Fire Incidents within 36 Hours

The National Fire Authority is investigating into five fire incident that has left 27 people homeless.

The NFA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Puamau Sowane is showing great concern and is saddened by the fire incidents that has affected the fire victims.

Mr. Sowane particularly raises his concerns because it seems that people do not want to take ownership of the safety of their properties and their families and very little attention is given on what the Authority is advocating on fire safety.

“Fire victims go through a lot; shame, fear, shock, helplessness, loneliness, displacement, loss, threats and the list goes on. The traumatic experience that any fire victim goes through is indescribable. It is so sad and shocking to see the escalating number of structural fires that is happening across Fiji,” he said.

In the first fire incident early this morning, a two-flat house consisting of five-bedrooms was destroyed at 43 Tomanu Road in Nadera. The NFA received a 910-emergency call at 8.26 am to inform of the fire incident and the fire team from Valelevu Fire Station responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the team found the first flat of the two-flat house fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters quickly established one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and managed to save the second flat from being destroyed.

It is understood that the son of the owner of the house was drunk and had set fire to the house after arguments with his father. Sixteen family members have been affected and left homeless after the fire incident. The police are currently investigating into the fire incident.

In the second fire incident, a four-bedroom corrugated iron and timber house was destroyed at Kalokalo in Makoi today. The Valelevu Fire Station was informed of the fire incident at 12.15 am and the fire team responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the team found the house fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters quickly established one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and stop its spread to other houses.

It is believed the house was vacant at the time of the fire incident as the owner resides in Nausori. The owner of the house had confirmed that he had switched off the main switch in the Energy Fiji Limited meter box a week earlier when he visited the property.

In the third fire incident, a lean-to corrugated iron and timber house was destroyed at Edinburgh Drive in Suva on Saturday, 4th December 2021. The Suva Fire Station was informed of the fire incident at 6.58 pm and the fire team responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene at 7.02 pm, the team found the house fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters quickly established one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and stop its spread to other houses few meters away.   

It is understood the owner of the house had set fire to the house and fled the scene. Four family members occupied the house and no injuries were reported during the fire incident. The police are currently investigating into the fire incident.

In the fourth fire incident, a three-bedroom corrugated iron and timber house was destroyed at Bau Island in Nausori on Saturday, 4th December 2021. The Nausori Fire Station was informed of the fire incident at 2.35 pm and the fire team responded immediately in a fiberglass boat.  Upon arrival at the scene, the team found the house fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters quickly established one delivery of water from the fire hydrant to extinguish the fire and stop its spread to other houses. The fire team were able to control the fire and stopped its spread to other two houses with the help of the villagers. Seven people have been left homeless after this incident.

In the fifth fire incident, a Duplex Villa was destroyed in a fire incident at Maravu Resort in Matei Taveuni, on 4th December 2021. The Taveuni Fire Station was informed of the fire incident at 8.09 pm and the fire team responded immediately. Upon arrival at the scene, the team found the Villa fully engulfed in flames. The firefighters quickly established one delivery of water from the fire truck to extinguish the fire and stop its spread to other buildings.

CEO Sowane says it is of great concern that two houses were destroyed after the owners deliberately had set fire to their own properties.

 “We advise all Fijians to refrain themselves from doing such harmful acts as it not only puts their family’s lives and properties in danger but they also pose considerable threats to their neighbors and community’s. Whilst the authority has no control over the behavior of all Fijians, we are working closely with members of the public in our fight to reduce unwanted fires that can be detrimental to everyone. What we are experiencing in a very short period is far worse than the impact of the pandemic to some,” he said.

“We are only few days away from Christmas and we expect people to be more responsible mindful of the danger that is surrounding them if fire safety is not taken seriously.

“We remind the home owners to check for all fire safety precautions before they leave home or are deciding to leave their homes vacant during this festive season. Always alert your neighbors that you will be away and in case of any fire emergency to call the authority and inform them,” he said. We encourage everyone to make it a norm to sit with their family members and discuss fire risks and how to manage it.

“Also always look out for any suspicious activities or people in your neighborhood that can have the motive of theft or arson related activities. We need to be more vigilant and work with our neighbors to help prevent such fire incidents,” he added.

 “We are always here to help and we urge the public to adhere to all precautionary measures and avoid such incidents from happening,” he added.

The National Fire Authority urges all Fijians to be alert with their surroundings and immediately call the toll-free fire emergency number 910 if they see any suspicious smoke or fire before attempting to put it out, so that firefighters can respond in the quickest time possible.

 The NFA is carrying out its investigations into the five fire incidents to ascertain the 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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