NEWS

Fire Victims Claim No Water In The Hydrant

Mr Chand, who was still in a state of shock when the Fiji Sun visited him yesterday, claimed that the blaze could have been put out by the firefighters if there was water supply in the water hydrants.
13 Oct 2020 10:23
Fire Victims Claim No Water In The Hydrant
Parveen Chand stands with his wife Ashika Chand and children Astha Chand and Palvish Chand in front of their home that was destroyed by fire in Nasasa, Navua on October 12, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

A family of five at Nasasa Road, Navua are picking up the pieces of what was left in their two-bedroom corrugated iron house. The house was completely destroyed in an early morning blaze yesterday.

Home owner, Parveen Chand, 43, said the incident took place at around 1am while his family were all asleep.

He said the fire began from his and his wife’s bedroom. They were awoken with flames going up their mosquito net.

Mr Chand, who was still in a state of shock when the Fiji Sun visited him yesterday, claimed that the blaze could have been put out by the firefighters if there was water supply in the water hydrants.

“We called the fire authority at 1.20am when the fire had just begun and they were at the scene at 1.30am,” Mr Chand said.

“The problem was that, there was no water in the hydrant when they came,” he said.

“This created a bigger problem, the fire spread quickly and they could not save anything because there was no water.”

He claimed they had to use the generator to pump out water from their family’s well to be able to stop the fire.

“By then everything was gone, it took them nearly 30 minutes to pump the water from the well into their hoses so that they could stop the fire.

“If there was water, we would have been able to save things from our home.”

He had pleaded with the relevant authorities to be better prepared for such scenarios in the future.

Mr Chand’s wife, Ashika Chand, said when the incident occurred she had only thought of rescuing her three children first before trying and save anything else.

“I tried to save their school bags, clothes and stationeries later, but I just couldn’t because the fire had spread throughout the house.

“Now my children cannot go to school because all their school stuff was destroyed in the fire.”

She has pleaded with members of the public to assist their family rebuild and recover what they had lost in the fire.

“My husband is the sole breadwinner of the family, he does not have a decent job as he only sells vegetables on the roadside to provide an income for our family.

“We are pleading to those who are able to help to contact me on 2047550.”

In a statement by the Water Authority of Fiji on the issue of fire hydrants, the Authority said:  “Our teams in Navua and Deuba were not notified of any fire in the area. Usually NFA informs the team should they encounter any issues after which the team carries out isolation works for focus supply for the purpose of firefighting.”

Questions sent to the National Fire Authority on the issue of the fire hydrants remained unanswered when this edition went to press.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

Feedback:  inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 



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