NATION

Man Watches Helplessly As Woman Burns To Death

An elderly woman, who is believed to be in her seventies,  died in a 10-bedroom house fire at Raketi Feeder Road, in Saweni Lautoka yesterday morning. A man said he
01 Jan 2019 11:34
Man Watches Helplessly As Woman Burns To Death
Firefighters at the scene at Raketi Feeder Road in Saweni, Lautoka. The fire claimed the life of a woman in her 70s on December 31, 2018. Photo: Nicolette Chambers.

An elderly woman, who is believed to be in her seventies,  died in a 10-bedroom house fire at Raketi Feeder Road, in Saweni Lautoka yesterday morning.

A man said he watched helplessly as the victim, Param Wati, who was alone in the house, burned to death.

Vilikesa Nasivi, 42, who was one of the first to try to save Ms Wati said it was something he wasn’t expecting to see on New Year’s eve.

He heard her cries for help and then she went silent.

“The fire started at 9am, I was at the Superfoods Supermarket to do my shopping and I saw the fire. When I called the fire crew, they said they were coming. When I reached here at 9.45am they still hadn’t arrived,” Mr Nasivi said.

“By the time they came, everything was gone. There was one old lady inside, she was dead and help came late.”

He said Ms Wati knew she was going to be killed in the fire because it was spreading quickly and no help could be given to her.

“We tried to help her but we couldn’t make it. We came from the back of the house because the fire was already inside,” he said.

“ She just sat on the bed, she was waving to us, asking for help, but we couldn’t do anything because the fire was big.

“The old lady was calling ‘help, help’, she knew we couldn’t do anything. There were no other options so she just went back on her bed to lie down, knowing she was going to die in the fire.”

Another person, who arrived at the scene to try help Ms Wati, Iqbal Hussein, said with the help of his neighbour, Aiyud Mohammed, they broke the main door to try to get into the house.

“But we couldn’t go in because the fire was big. At this time I could hear her calling for help. Minutes after that I couldn’t hear anything else,” Mr Hussein said.

“We grew up together in this area and it is a sad time to lose someone on New Year’s eve.”

He said they were still unsure of where the fire started from.

National Fire Authority chief fire officer, Qiolevu Moceitai said the team had received a call at 9.43am and arrived with the fire machines at 9.55am, also with the support of machines from Nadi.

“We are about to start with our investigations,” Mr Moceitai said.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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