6 Fire Trucks Douse Nadi Factory Fire

A fire at a factory in Nadi was successfully controlled thanks to the efforts of the National Fire Authority, Police, Town Council and Airports Fiji Limited (AFL). The Jack’s of Fiji
20 Jan 2017 12:03
6 Fire Trucks Douse Nadi Factory Fire
The fire at Jack’s of Fiji garment factory could be seen from a distance drawing hundreds to the scene at Nadi yesterday. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

A fire at a factory in Nadi was successfully controlled thanks to the efforts of the National Fire Authority, Police, Town Council and Airports Fiji Limited (AFL).

The Jack’s of Fiji garment factory burst into flames and thick black smoke could be noticed from a distance.

The incident occurred at Bakers Lane off Sagayam Road in Nadi Town behind the Main Street at around 9:45am.

NFA said they deployed six fire trucks to the scene. Help from AFL and water tanks from the council allowed them to prevent the fire from spreading wildly.

Factory workers at the scene were in tears and embracing each other.

Jack’s of Fiji Group general manager Avinesh Prasad said all staff members were evacuated safely through the emergency exits.

The chairman of Jack’s of Fiji Group, Dilip Khatri, said they were working with the authorities to determine the cause of the fire.

Sunita Devi, 45, a machinist at the factory said: “I worked here for 14 years and it’s my only source of income.”

Anju Sanjeshni, a factory supervisor for the past eight years, said: “Most of us could not get our belongings and money, but our boss will provide us for the fare.”

Mr Prasad further said: “We have completely lost the factory and also one of the staff apartments next to it.

“We have 180 staff members, but 144 were present at work at the time of incident and they were provided with temporary relief today and others will be discussed later.”

Sumindra Nand, a machinist, also confirmed to Fiji Sun they had received $50 each as their temporary relief.

Mrs Nand was at the Nadi Hospital awaiting examination after she sprained her ankle while escaping the fire.

She said six other work colleagues who were taken to Zens Medical Centre (company doctor), were released after treatment.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed that six employees from the factory were taken to hospital for treatment after inhaling black smoke.

Mrs Nand has been an employee at the factory for 15 years.


Fire scene

At the scene many people were seen rushing towards the inferno with their mobile phones to take pictures and make videos. This caused problems for the fire trucks which tried to gain access.

Police officers acted swiftly to seal off the area to allow firefighters to do their work.

People were asked to vacate the shops and houses as the fire raged on. Shops and businesses located along Bakers Lane were evacuated as the flames reached the other buildings. The roof of an apartment next to the burning factory caved in as the fire had spread there as well.

The building housing the Bank South Pacific was also affected.

However, the NFA managed to save other properties.

NFA media liaison officer, Ritesh Kumar, said: “The fire team used deliveries of water from the fire trucks to extinguish the fire and managed to stop the fire from destroying the adjacent properties and an old Oregon-timber structured residential building located two metres away from the factory.”

The NFA also acknowledged the support of the other agencies like the Nadi Town Council for deploying their 10,000-litre water tank and Airports Fiji Limited for engaging their fire trucks to the scene as well.

Police in Nadi were praised for the good control of traffic and movement of people near the fire scene.

The cause of the fire and the cost  of damage is to be determined.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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