NATION

Fire Destroys Retiree’s House, Family Now Homeless

A family of three in Vatia, Labasa are now left homeless after a fire destroyed their $30,000 home early Friday morning. Lodoviko Vere a retired Fiji Forest Industries worker, could not
06 Aug 2017 11:34
Fire Destroys Retiree’s House, Family Now Homeless
The family with the team from Fiji Red Cross Branch in Labasa. Photo: JOSAIA RALAGO

A family of three in Vatia, Labasa are now left homeless after a fire destroyed their $30,000 home early Friday morning.

Lodoviko Vere a retired Fiji Forest Industries worker, could not hold back his tears as he recounted how the fire destroyed the house he had built from his savings.

An emotional 63-year-old Mr Vere later in the day walked into his once timber and corrugated three bedroom home in an attempt to salvage whatever that could be left.

But all he could find were burnt clothes, furniture and appliances.

Mr Vere was asleep with his 58-year-old wife, Mereia Vere and their 13-year-old grandson Joseva Potu at their home when the fire broke out.

“I was woken up by wife at around 1am when the fire started spreading from the kitchen to the sitting room,” Mr Vere said.

“I quickly rushed out to switch off the electricity meter box outside. I returned inside to grab my mobile phone which was charging in my room but all I could manage to get was my watch before I rushed out again,” he said.

“Everything I had worked hard for has turned to ashes.”

He said the fire had spread really fast and before they knew it, the entire house was engulfed by fire.

“The fire truck came almost an hour after they were contacted and when they finally arrived; there was nothing much they could do,” he said.

A team from the Fiji Red Cross Labasa Branch were one of the first to assist the family with some materials.

Mrs Vere cried openly when she received the assistance from the team in front of their former home.

Her husband who also shed tears said; “We do not know how important the work that the Fiji Red Cross does until we’re affected and I am so thankful for that.”

The family is now temporarily residing at a neighbour’s house.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the wooden house property of a 63-year-old farmer was completely destroyed.

“The farmer with his wife and 13-year-old grandson were asleep when they were alerted about the fire by a neighbour,” Ms Naisoro said.

“Occupants escaped without injuries,” she said.

“The cause of the fire is not known. Investigations continue.”


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