NATION

Wailea, Vatuwaqa Residents Fear Possibility Of More House Fires At Settlement

Residents are wary of the high possibility of more house fires at Wailea Settlement in Vatuwaqa, saying it makes the area a potential “deathtrap”.
08 Nov 2019 14:33
Wailea, Vatuwaqa Residents Fear Possibility Of More House Fires At Settlement
Bijnesh Rahul Ratten.

Residents are wary of the high possibility of more house fires at Wailea Settlement in Vatuwaqa, saying it makes the area a potential “deathtrap”.

Their comments came in the wake of a fire which destroyed three homes on Wednesday afternoon.

“No one was injured. Next time we might not be so lucky,” Bijnesh Rahul Ratten said.

Mr Ratten was one of the victims of the fire which gutted three homes at the settlement on Wednesday afternoon..

He and three other family members were able to escape uninjured.

“Our homes are too close to each other. The fire started from our neighbour’s house and spread to ours,” Mr Ratten said.

Mr Ratten estimated the cost of damage to his house at about $40,000.

Another victim, Loata Ciri, 32, was at home with her four-year-old son when the fire started from her front bedroom.

She does not know how the fire started.

“The three homes were very close to each other and the strong winds did not help the situation on Wednesday,” Ms Ciri said.

“It was frightful and dangerous, it all happened so fast.

“A bamboo tree growing between my house and our neighbor’s caught fire and fell on their home.”

The family now live with relatives at the same settlement.

The National Fire Authority investigations into the cause of the fire continues. It will issue a statement later.

The Ministry of Local Government will enlighten residents on the risks of building homes close to each other.

Feedback: ilaijia.ravuwai@fijisun.com.fj

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