NFA Investigates three fires: Navuso Institute and residential properties affected

NFA Investigates three fires: Navuso Institute and residential properties affected

By Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 10/04/2024

The National Fire Authority is investigating three fires that occurred between Friday and Sunday to find out their probable causes.

NFA says at 4.04am on Sunday, the NFA Command Centre received a call on the 910 NFA toll-free emergency line, of a fire at the Navuso Agricultural Technical Institute near Navuso Village, Naitasiri.

They say duty crews at Nakasi and Nausori fire stations responded immediately and arrived at the scene at 4.20am to find a large timber and concrete building on fire.

The crews were supported by the 20,000-litre tanker from Suva Fire Station and the fire was extinguished at 5.33am.

From initial site inquiries and investigations, officers determined that two classroom blocks, three offices and a laboratory were destroyed.

They say currently there is no estimate on the cost of damage sustained and no casualties were reported.

In another incident, at 5.28pm on Sunday, the Nadi Fire Station received a running call from an off-duty firefighter reporting a structural fire incident at Vagadra Village which was outside the fire boundary.

They say the on-duty crew responded immediately and arrived at the scene at 6.26pm to find a two-bedroom corrugated iron and timber house engulfed in flames and put out the hotspots before returning to the station.

NFA says the villagers, while waiting for the fire trucks to arrive, managed to control the fire using the bucket brigade method, a strategy learned from their recent community fire wardens training conducted by NFA.

The house belonged to a 36-year-old villager and was occupied by 3 adults and 3 children.

The property sustained 85 percent damage with an estimated cost of $50,000.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Nadi Fire Station received a running call from a member of the public at 9.50pm about a residential fire at Qeleloa.

The duty crew responded immediately and arrived at the scene at 9.55pm to find one side of a concrete and partly wooden double-storey residential property engulfed in flames.

The crew managed to extinguish the flames.

The property was occupied by 10 adults and six children, while the owner lives overseas.

NFA says the building housed 7 flats, was not insured, and was powered by solar energy.

There was 75 percent damage to the structure with an estimated cost being about $80,000.

NFA Chief Executive Officer Puamau Sowane praised the villagers at Vagadra for putting what they learned into practice but warned members of the public to always practice fire safety and exercise precaution.

He says it’s fortunate that there were no injuries or lives lost; however, members of the public need to ensure that they do what they can within their homes to prevent fires.

Sowane says these homes were the result of years of hard work and lifetime investments that were wiped out in a moment of raging fire.

He is pleading with members of the public to practice simple things such as properly storing flammable materials, ensuring that mosquito coils are placed on non-combustible materials or surfaces and teaching family members what to do in case of a fire.

The CEO is also urging members of the public to call the 910 toll-free emergency line in the first instance to ensure they respond in a timely manner and put out fires as quickly as possible.

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