NATION

NFA Stops Morning Fire, Praise For Caller

A phone call by a Nabala Secondary Year 12 student to the National Fire Authority helped stop a fire spreading in the Labasa business district early yesterday. Jone Matakece, 19,
17 Sep 2018 13:34
NFA Stops Morning Fire, Praise For Caller
Labasa Police officer Asish Kumar (left) liaising with Balia Brothers shop owner Bharat Balia over the fire incident infront of the shop in Labasa Town on September 16, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu

A phone call by a Nabala Secondary Year 12 student to the National Fire Authority helped stop a fire spreading in the Labasa business district early yesterday.

Jone Matakece, 19, said he was returning from a birthday party with four friends walking down from Nasea Discount Shop to Fiji Sugar Corporation quarters when they saw Balia Brothers shop show glass covered with smoke.

“At around 1.20am while passing through the town, I saw some smoke coming out from the shop’s door,” Mr Matakece said.

“I then touched the glass because I thought maybe the air-condition must be on.

“The glass felt hot and then I asked my friends to touch it also  for clarity and then I dialled 910 for help.”

Divisional Fire Officer, Northern, Vinesh Kumar confirmed the Labasa Fire Station received a call at (1.22am) hours and immediately officers were despatched to the scene.

“The NFA officers quickly responded to contain the spread of the fire to adjacent shops,” Mr Kumar said.

“There are lot of expectations from the community and early detection of fire is important.

“In such cases we are in a better position to execute fire fighting operation.

“We would like to advise businesses to take extra precautions and to inform NFA as soon as possible for any emergency cases.”

Mr Kumar said a joint investigation with Police was conducted to determine the cause of fire.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro confirmed the incident and said that investigation was underway.

Meanwhile, the owner of Balia Brothers shop, Bharat Balia said: “When I was informed about the fire, I arrived at the scene at 2am.

“This is the first time such an incident happened.

“Approximately, I estimate the damage to be about $300,000.

“I would like to thank the fire officers for their quick response and saving the RB Patel complex from being burned down,” Mr Balia said.

“I hope we get to know the cause of fire soon.”

Labasa Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Satish Kumar, who was at the scene, thanked the NFA, Police and the young man who made the phone call.

“Few decades ago a part of Labasa Town was burnt down and memories flashed back in many people’s mind, especially those who have been doing business here for a long time,” Mr Kumar said.

“That is why we are thankful to the youth and we advise business houses to take extra precautions and safety measures.

“Business is growing in Labasa, which is a good sign, but safety measures are important.”

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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