A 16-YEAR-OLD boy considers himself lucky after his father saved him from an early morning blaze that destroyed their four-bedroom house at Lajonia outside Labasa Town on Wednesday night.
The boy was sleeping alone in his room when the fire started after midnight.
His mechanic father, Dharmendra Prasad, told The Fiji Times the fire started in the sitting room while they were all asleep.
He said all their household items worth about $95,000 were destroyed.
"While sleeping, I heard a loud bang — when I came out of the room, I saw flames reaching the ceiling," Mr Prasad said.
"I ran back to the room, woke my daughter and wife up and escorted them outside. Without hesitation, I quickly ran to the tap with a hosepipe in an effort to put the fire out but I didn't realise that my son was still sleeping.
"I smashed the room window and we both jumped outside as the flames had engulfed the house.
"I lost all my mechanical and welding equipment, and also two vehicles I was repairing were partly damaged."
Mr Prasad has pleaded to the public for any assistance to help them rebuild their lives.
NFA chief executive officer John O'Connor said officers in Labasa responded immediately when they were alerted.
However, he urged the public to always check that all fire ignition sources like candles, stoves, lamps, mosquito coils and prayer diya were put out completely before leaving their home or retiring to bed.
"We hope that members of the community take heed of our advice and exercise good housekeeping at home to avoid unnecessary fire incidents from happening," he said.
The fire toll stands at 60 compared to 78 in the same period last year.