84-Year-Old Dies In House Fire

He said living in the village now without his father was still like a dream to him.
19 Jul 2019 10:00
84-Year-Old Dies In House Fire
Pio Naqiri standing in front of what used to be the home of his late father, Mosese Vunivesilevu at Nararavou Settlement in Rakiraki on July 18, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Moce, au sa lai moce. (Good night, I am going to sleep).

These were the last words, Pio Naqiri, 49, heard from his father, Mosese Vunivesilevu, 84, before he was burnt alive in his two-bedroom home at Nararavou Settlement in Rakiraki.

Mr Naqiri, who is the second-eldest of seven siblings, said he didn’t know that it would be his father’s last goodbye to him.

He said living in the village now without his father was still like a dream to him.

“My three sons left my home at around 7.30pm (Wednesday night) to drop my father at his home,” Mr Naqiri said.

“He said goodbye to me before he went, but now I am sad because I had no idea that was his last goodbye to me.

“I’m missing my father.”

Mr Naqiri said the fire may have started from the living room where the kerosene lamp was since the settlement did not have electricity.

“Around midnight, my wife was yelling at me, saying his (father’s) home was on fire,” he said.

“I jumped up from bed immediately and ran to save him, but I was too late. The fire had spread quickly and my father was asleep in the living room.”

He said his father was staying alone in the home after his mother died in 1985.

Mr Naqiri said he would miss his father a lot because the relationship they shared was one in a million.

“After I finished Year 8 I left school to help my father with farming because he had left the gold mines after he lost two fingers while working and since then I was supporting him and my family” he added.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said Mr Vunivesilevu was believed to have been trapped inside the home during the fire.

She said the Rakiraki Police Station received a report from Mr Naqiri and attempts by the villagers to save his father were unsuccessful.

Ms Naisoro added that a joint investigation with the National Fire Authority was underway.

Edited by Epineri Vula


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