Kataiwai Laments Grandson’s Death

‘It appears history has been repeated. My son died in a fire in 1992. Now, it’s my grandson.’   Jone Kataiwai, 65, lost a son in a fire in 1992.
25 Aug 2016 10:20
Kataiwai Laments Grandson’s Death
Police forensic at the burned home in Lami, where a five year-old boy died in fire. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

‘It appears history has been repeated. My son died in a fire in 1992. Now, it’s my grandson.’


Jone Kataiwai, 65, lost a son in a fire in 1992.

In a cruel twist of fate yesterday, he lost a grandson who was burned to death, when their Vugalei home in Lami caught fire.

It appeared history had repeated itself, he said.

“First it was my son and now it is my grandson. Sometimes, life can be so unfair,” he said.

Josua Boteanakadavu, four,  burned to death in the house at around 12pm.

His body was later found after fire officers from the National Fire Authority put the fire out.

Mr Kataiwai described his grandson as an active and a loving boy who had a full life ahead of him.

“I always take him everywhere with me as he will be starting Year One next year and I will miss him every day,” he said.

He said the five-bedroom house was completely destroyed and relatives would accommodate the family.

Mr Kataiwai said six family members lived in the house.

Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro, said the victim was at home with a relative and an older brother when the fire started. She said attempts to locate him once flames engulfed their home were unsuccessful.

Mr Kataiwai, said he told his older daughter to look after the two boys because he was going for his hospital appointment.

“I told my daughter properly to look after the boys and see what they were doing,” he said.

“I was held up at the hospital for another half an hour and I then got a phone call, saying the house was burning and the firefighters were on their way.

“When I got to the scene, the first thing I asked was if my grandson’s were ok and I was told that only one was rescued.

“I rushed up to the house but at the back of my mind I knew it was Josua who was the unlucky one.”

He said Josua was playing with matches in one of the bedrooms when the fire started to spread to the sofa.

“My elder grandson (Elijah) then ran to my daughter to inform her,” he said.

“The fire spread quickly and they couldn’t get to him on time.”

However, Mr Kataiwai was thankful that his elder daughter and elder grandson were alive but a piece of his heart ached for Josua.

Police investigations are continuing.

Edited by Nemani Delaibatiki



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