NEWS

Diwali Hopes Dashed

The hopes of three families for a grand Diwali last night were dashed when their homes were destroyed in a fire   hours before the celebration was to begin. The families
12 Nov 2015 10:46
Diwali Hopes Dashed
Fire victim family: (sitting from right to left), Pratap Chand(House owner), Sanjori Devi(wife), Ashika Lal(daughter-in-law) with their three-year-old grandson, Krishnata Pratap. Standing from the back:Atish Pratap(son) and 1-year-old Kris Pratap. Photo: Litia Cava

The hopes of three families for a grand Diwali last night were dashed when their homes were destroyed in a fire   hours before the celebration was to begin.

The families live in the property belonging to Pratap Chand at Wainibokasi near Nausori Town.

The property contains a double-storey building where two families rent as tenants and an adjacent flat where Mr Chand and his family live. All homes were three bedroom flats.

Mr Chand said this year’s Diwali was the worst in his life.

“I was in the sitting room and my daughter-in-law was dressing my wound when I saw smoke coming out from the ceiling of our home,” Mr Chand said.

“We do not know how it started and despite my injured foot, I ran for my wife, son and daughter-in-law and my two grandsons to take them outside.”

He said his family had completed their preparations for Diwali and was getting ready for start of prayers in the evening.

“We were waiting for my son and his family and other family members to come and celebrate Diwali with us. Now we cannot do anything.

“I cannot believe our much awaited celebration this year has turned out like this,” he said.

The tenants were also saved from the fire.

Meanwhile, National Fire Authority (NFA) chief executive officer John O’ Connor said they received a call at 3.30pm and responded at the same time.

However when they arrived to the scene, the three flats was engulfed in flames, he said.

“There was a threat that the fire had started to go to the other buildings, but we fought it and was able to prevent it from spreading,” Mr O’ Connor said.

In another incident, the NFA also responded to a fire that broke out from an outlet situated at the RB Patel Building in Centrepoint, Laucala Beach, yesterday.

Mr O’ Connor said when they arrived at the scene, the outlet was on fire and they were able to prevent it from spreading to other shops.                   He confirmed there were no major damage to the outlet. He is advising members of the public to ensure that all fire ignition sources are checked before leaving homes and shops vacant.

Four fires have been recorded in Suva, three days consecutively this week.

Feedback:  aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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