NEWS

Unhappy Farmer Loses Family Home In Fire

Durga Prasad was a forlorn figure yesterday as a Christmas Day fire left him without a home. The 66-year-old farmer was lost for words and visibly emotional as he looked
27 Dec 2017 11:00
Unhappy Farmer Loses Family Home In Fire
Durga Prasad sits in front of what was once his home with his daughter, Shalini Devi (left), son-in-law Salim Khan (back), and granddaughter Shaluha Khan. Photo: Charles Chambers

Durga Prasad was a forlorn figure yesterday as a Christmas Day fire left him without a home.

The 66-year-old farmer was lost for words and visibly emotional as he looked at his gutted home located in the hills in the interior of Lautoka.

It was his home where he raised his family and in the same vicinity he grew up as a child while his father worked the cane fields.

He had already started rebuilding part of his home which was damaged during Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

The rest of the material, which he had secured through a $1500 government grant for rebuilding of homes, was also lost in the fire.

His three-bedroom home, in Johnson Road, Lautoka was a scene of mangled roofing iron and ash.

Mr Prasad stayed in the house with his cousin, Suresh Prasad.

His son in law, Salim Khan said they usually picked Mr Prasad and took him to their home in Lovu.

On Christmas Day, he was picked by his daughter Shalini Devi and her husband, Mr Khan, to spend Christmas with them.

“We were told about the fire on Christmas night so we rushed back, but nothing was left,” Mr Khan said.

“The fire brigade came from Lautoka, but because of the long distance the house was razed before it arrived.”

Mr Prasad, a vegetable farmer, never ventured from home except to visit his daughter’s place.

Mr Khan said the house had no electrical power which was damaged during TC Winston.

“We really don’t know how the fire started because there was no one at home,” he added.

The National Fire Authority said the matter was still being investigated.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said investigations were continuing.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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