NFA CEO concerned about water pressure issue while dealing with Defence Club fire
Calls made for WAF to take urgent action

NFA CEO concerned about water pressure issue while dealing with Defence Club fire

Calls made for WAF to take urgent action

By Vijay Narayan , Marika Rasekaseka
Tuesday 27/02/2024
Defence Club house located on Gordon Street in Suva has been destroyed in a fire early this morning.

National Fire Authority Chief Executive Officer Puamau Sowane is pleading with their three main stakeholders especially the Water Authority of Fiji to be responsive during emergencies.

The CEO highlighted this in response to the questions being asked regarding water pressure issues being faced by the firefighters while trying to contain the fire at the Defence Club house in Suva this morning.

Sowane says they have been facing these issues for some time where stakeholders need to step up and be responsible for what they are supposed to do during an emergency.

He says once they receive an emergency call from members of the public, the first thing they do is contact Energy Fiji Limited, Water Authority and Telecom Fiji Limited to assist them in cutting off all accessibility they provide to the building that is on fire.

One of their main calls goes to the Water Authority of Fiji which is responsible for shutting some of the valves and pushing pressure to the nearby fire hydrants closer to the building on fire.

The CEO further says this is not the first time they have faced water pressure issues because these issues are also faced in rural areas.

fijivillage has sent questions to WAF, but they have yet to respond.

The Defence Club house located on Gordon Street in Suva was destroyed in an early morning fire this morning.

Firefighters from Suva to Nausori managed to contain the fire at about 10am however they faced serious water pressure issues.

The fire started before 8 o’clock this morning, and the double storey club house was engulfed in flames within minutes.

The three employees who started at 8am say they were cleaning the club house when the power went off suddenly and they could see the fire starting at the bottom floor of the building.

They then rushed out of the burning building.

Divisional Police Commander Central, SP Farasiko Matawalu confirms that the officers are investigating the fire incident.

The National Fire Authority confirms that three fire trucks were at Gordon Street with about 12 on and off duty officers assigned.

The 109 year old Defence Club of Fiji was established as a gentleman's club in 1915 prior to the outbreak of World War I.

Based on a common desire to establish a place of loyalty to the crown as well as leisurely passtime, the Defence Club first opened its doors to members who shared similar goals and interests.

The club's constitution was founded on strong military principles and includes an 'Oath of Allegiance' which all new members agree to on the acceptance of their membership to the club.

The first President of the Defence Club was Sir E.B Sweet-Escott. Other Presidents include such notable personalities as: Sir Len Usher 1950, Sir Edward Cakobau 1967, Mr Joe Campbell 1973, Rod Jepsen 1990 and Leo Smith 1995. Throughout World War 1 and WW2, Club membership grew as did its strong military presence which was evident in its membership and which was to become the hallmark of the Defence Club.

Today the Defence Club is frequented by businessmen and professionals with the inclusion of a few respected politicians who have come to enjoy the club's facilities over the years.

Initially a gentlemen's club, the Defence Club now offers a range of membership options to its patrons including women membership as associate members.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

We are also trying to speak to the Club trustee about the fire.

Stay with us for developments.

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