NEWS

Fears Of Serial Arsonist Have Lajonia HART Residents Terrified

According to the Marama ni koro (headwoman) Sofia Bi, the fires were set on a daily basis and happened during curfew hours.
15 Mar 2021 12:00
Fears Of Serial Arsonist Have Lajonia HART Residents Terrified
Sinu Heritage in disbelief looks at the flat she once lived in at the Rara HART in Lajonia, Labasa on March 11,2021. Photo: Laisa Lui

Families at the Rara Housing Assistance Relief Trust (HART) in Lajonia, Labasa, fear that a serial arsonist is targeting them after more than 10 fire incidents in two months.

Police confirmed that 10 reports have been received so far.

Kitchen curtains, bathrooms, clothes in the wardrobe, laundry basket and even beds have been allegedly set alight.

According to the Marama ni koro (headwoman) Sofia Bi, the fires were set on a daily basis and happened during curfew hours.

“Someone knocks on the door and runs away, then there are fires during the day and at night,” Ms Bi said.

Marama ni Koro of Rara HART, Sofia Bi. Photo: Laisa Lui

Marama ni Koro of Rara HART, Sofia Bi. Photo: Laisa Lui

“We haven’t had a good night’s sleep in some time, as we’re up at night patrolling the blocks because mostly women and children live here.”

She claimed that there were also sounds of someone using a cane knife at night. She said she had not been able to send her children to school.

Police were requested to patrol the area.

“It is certainly not the work of a ghost or spirit, it is someone within this community trying to scare us, but for what reasons?” she asked.

Last week Sinu Heritage, a single mother of five, lost everything in a fire. She resided at the same HART Home.

Sinu Heritage inside the burned flat at the Rara HART in Lajonia, Labasa on March 11,2021. Photo: Laisa Lui

Sinu Heritage inside the burned flat at the Rara HART in Lajonia, Labasa on March 11,2021. Photo: Laisa Lui

“With the series of fire happening, we have started our prayer group for divine intervention,” Ms Heritage said.

“We have been attacked six times; it is just too much for us to handle anymore,” she said.

Another resident, Alisi Caba, has been a resident of the HART Home for eight years. She took the Heritage family to shelter at her home since they were looking for a new place.

“We have become suspicious that it is someone within this community,” she said.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said investigations were underway.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj



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