What happened in Labasa Town is a wake-up call - Divisional Police Commander Northern
Baledrokadroka acknowledges the team work from Police, NFA, RFMF and the public during the Labasa fire

What happened in Labasa Town is a wake-up call - Divisional Police Commander Northern

Baledrokadroka acknowledges the team work from Police, NFA, RFMF and the public during the Labasa fire

By Navitalai Naivalurua , Mohammed Feroz
Thursday 31/08/2023
Divisional Police Commander Northern, Kemueli Baledrokadroka

Divisional Police Commander Northern Kemueli Baledrokadroka has acknowledged the teamwork by the Police, the National Fire Authority, the RFMF and the public in working together to ensure the safety of everyone when a fire broke out at Labasa Town.

Baledrokadroka says nobody planned for what happened, but teamwork was witnessed by the Police, the NFA, the Army and the public.

He says it is fortunate that the incident occurred during the day-time.

He adds they will work together with NFA in conducting more community fire safety awareness so people know what to do when facing another fire incident.

The Divisional Police Commander Northern says what happened yesterday is a wake-up call whereby everyone has a role to play.

He says at the moment, investigations is continuing and they are awaiting the NFA report.

Meanwhile, six businesses were destroyed in a fire in Labasa Town yesterday, and the National Fire Authority is calling on commercial property owners to ensure that their premises are fire safety compliant.

NFA says they attended to a major fire incident that gutted the Jaduram Building located in the heart of Labasa Town and the Labasa Fire Station was alerted through a running call from a Police Constable at 11.03am.

The fire team responded immediately with its two fire appliances and a 7-member crew.

They say upon arrival at the scene of the fire at 11.06am, the fire team saw that the Kwong Tung Restaurant was engulfed in flames and the fire was rapidly spreading towards the adjacent shops.

The Authority adds the Labasa crew quickly utilized one of the fire trucks to fight the fire from the front of the building, whilst the second fire truck and its crew were dispatched and fought the fire from the back of the building in an effort to quickly extinguish the fire.

The brigade established 1 delivery of 2 lengths from the tank supply, and fire hydrant supply to extinguish the fire and stop its further spread to adjacent shops.

NFA adds whilst the firefighters fought hard to stop the fire from spreading, the intensity of the fire and heavy fire loading, coupled with slightly windy conditions, caused the fire to spread quickly to the adjacent shops and destroyed the six businesses that were operating in that building.

They say two restaurants, a pharmacy and three retail shops were destroyed in the fire.

The building, constructed of concrete and iron with a wooden interior, was approximately 35 metres x 20 metres in size.

The Authority says, fortunately, there were no injuries reported as the occupants of all the businesses involved had already evacuated the building.

It adds that the highly flammable material contents in the building contributed to the fast spread of the fire.

NFA CEO Puamau Sowane says commercial property owners should ensure that their premises are fire safety compliant and more importantly, that all their workers undergo fire safety training on the proper and effective use of fire extinguishers and other fire mitigating equipment.

Sowane is requesting the public to call 910 as soon as there is a fire and give the fire teams the earliest opportunity to respond quickly to the fire incident.

He says they will be conducting their investigations to determine the cause of the fire.

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