NEWS

Deadly Inferno

A grandfather’s brave attempt to rescue his four-year-old grandson from their burning home in Labasa yesterday was short-lived when the boy died as he was rushed to the hospital. Shaiz
28 Jul 2015 11:55
Deadly Inferno
Shaiz Ali, Farzana Bi, Shabnam Bi, and Premila Devi yesterday. Photo: Peni Drauna

A grandfather’s brave attempt to rescue his four-year-old grandson from their burning home in Labasa yesterday was short-lived when the boy died as he was rushed to the hospital.

Shaiz Ali, 4, who was just two months away from celebrating his 5th birthday, died from severe burns he suffered from the fire. This was confirmed by Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro. Ms Naisoro also confirmed that another child remains in critical condition at the Labasa Hospital.

The loss of the child and the house has left the entire family in shock.

“The fire happened really fast at 3am but I do not know how the fire started,” grandfather Mohammed Hanif told Fiji Sun.

He said the family was asleep but he woke up when he heard noises and saw smoke coming from the front of the house.

“By the time I alerted the family, the flames were just too big and it started to spread inside the house,” Mr Hanif said.

“It was very fast so my nephew Juman Ali rushed to grab the children because their room was located in front of the house.”

Mr Hanif said he had to bust down the back wall of the corrugated house to provide a fire exit for the family to escape the inferno.

“By the time we got the two children out Shaiz was severely burnt. By the time we rushed him to the hospital it was too late,” the grieving grandfather said.

Mr Hanif’s wife Asma Bi and nephew Juman Ali suffered burns, while his three-year-old granddaughter, Ashika Ali, is in critical condition at the Labasa Hospital.

The victim’s mother, Shabnam Bi, who is a sales assistant at a shop in Labasa Town, was in Nakama with relatives at time of the incident.

She said she received a phone call yesterday morning from her husband Rahimat Ali, who was also doing night shift at the time. The husband is a security officer at the Mobil service station in Labasa.

“I just cannot believe that he is gone because I just saw him on Sunday before leaving for Nakama,” Mrs Bi said.

“He will be really missed because he was a playful child, active and very talkative.”

National Fire Authority’s chief executive officer John O’Connor confirmed they received a phone call at about 3.42am from the Police department.

Mr O’Connor said the house was engulfed in flames when the firefighters arrived at the scene. They have yet to establish the cause of the fire as they continue their investigation.

Fiji Sun has learned that one of the three people who were sent to the hospital for burns, Juman Ali, was discharged yesterday afternoon.

Feedback: peni.drauna@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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