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Fiji Time: 12:13 AM on Tuesday 23 September

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I miss my little angels

Avinesh Gopal
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HER face masked the turmoil and anguish inside.

For 68-year old Deo Raji, news yesterday that her third granddaughter had died from the inferno from which she was saved was too much to bear.

She found it hard to accept that she was still alive while "my three little angels" did not survive from burns they suffered in the Saturday night blaze.

Relatives yesterday described the three sisters as playful and cheerful girls who brought joy into their homes.

Sheeral Shivika Prasad, 8, alias Pooja, a Class Two student of Vuci Methodist School, was burnt alive inside her home at Koronivia Road in Nausori on Saturday night.

Her sister, Sheenal Shivika Prasad, 13, a Class Seven student of Vuci Methodist School suffered 95 per cent burns and died at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital at 10.45am on Monday.

Their eldest sister, Shayal Shivika Prasad, 16, a Form Four student of Vunimono High School, suffered 85 per cent burns and died at the CWM Hospital at 8.15pm on Monday.

Mrs Raji, who is wheelchair ridden, was sleeping when fire broke out in her granddaughters' bedroom from a lit candle a little after 11.30pm that fateful night. She was saved from the burning house by her son and the three girls' father, Umesh Prasad, 39.

The grieving grandmother was treated for the burns she suffered but does not remember what happened.

"I miss them so much. They were my little angels and I don't believe that they have died," Ms Raji said as relatives prepared to bury them tomorrow.

Mr Prasad said "these are the darkest days of my life".

"I pray to God that whatever I went through does not happen to anyone else," he said.

"I don't have anything else left in my life now after losing my three daughters."

Relatives first told Mrs Raji on Sunday that Sheeral had perished in the fire and that Sheenal and Shayal were in a serious condition in hospital.

She was informed about Sheenal's death on Monday morning and, later that night, about Shayal's demise.

Since that day, Ms Raji has been waking up suddenly at night, crying and asking about her granddaughters, who were close to her.

When The Fiji Times visited the family yesterday, she was lying on a mattress on the floor, shivering and asking relatives about her granddaughters.

"Where are my granddaughters, I want to see them. I am missing them, they were my little angels and I don't believe that they have died," said Ms Raji, who lost her wheelchair in the fire.

Yesterday, family members were desperately looking for one to enable her to attend the girls' funeral tomorrow.


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