FIJI NEWS

Fire Officer Hurt

Water cuts, strong winds blamed for failure to battle and control flames ZAFIYA SHAMIM SUVA The National Fire Authority’s (NFA) chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai sustained some injuries while fighting
19 Mar 2014 11:23

Water cuts, strong winds blamed for failure to battle and control flames

Chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai (left) is assisted out of the burning property at Bureta Street, Samabula, after sustaining injuries to his hand yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

ZAFIYA SHAMIM
SUVA
The National Fire Authority’s (NFA) chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai sustained some injuries while fighting a fire that destroyed a three-bedroom corrugated iron and concrete house at Bureta Street, Samabula, yesterday morning.
This was confirmed by Authority chief executive officer John O’Connor.
“He was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital after he sustained minor injuries while battling the fire, but he is back at work,” Mr O’Connor said.
Mr Moceitai said he received medical assistance after he sustained minor injuries from the fire.
Asked why he was not wearing firefighting gloves, Mr Moceitai said he was not putting out the fire at the time he sustained injuries.
A well-known telecom man Ivan Fong said the family of six could have easily contained the fire if there was water supply.
“I hired a few boys as gardeners to clean our compound and the fire may have started at the back of the house when they tried to burn the rubbish at the fireplace,” Mr Fong said.
He was very disappointed because they could have easily contained the fire, but unfortunately there was no water available because there was water cuts in the area.
“The gardener was trying his best to put out the fire with a hose, but he did not get enough water to control it when it was small and because of that the fire destroyed my house,” Mr Fong said.
He said although the NFA firefighters arrived at the scene minutes after the emergency call was placed, there was little they could do to save the property.
Mr O’Connor said the heavy winds fuelled the flames and they did their best to save the flames from spreading to other nearby homes.
“Investigations into the matter are continuing,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Water Authority of Fiji is yet to comment on when water supply to the area will normalise.

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