Fiji Time: 3:58 PM on Saturday 22 November

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Strong winds fan the flames

Timoci Vula
Friday, November 02, 2012

ABOUT 300 guests at the four-star Naviti Resort were evacuated when the fire broke out from its Kids Club at around 3.30pm.

Resort executive director Tammie Tam, who was in her office at the time of the fire, said there were no injuries and all guests were evacuated immediately by hotel staff and escorted to the golf course.

Ms Tam said the fire started from the back of the club that stored mattresses for kids to use whenever they were tired.

She said the fire spread quickly from there because of the strong wind.

She said hotel staff, who were well trained in fire evacuation exercises, used the fire extinguisher to put out the fire before they used their own fire trolley to pump water but their attempts were in vain because of windy conditions.

"The fire destroyed the central building that has the main lounge, restaurants, shops and offices," Ms Tam told The Fiji Times.

"The damage is huge but we can't put a figure to it right now. We'll wait for the insurance company to do an assessment," she told this newspaper.

Ms Tam said staff followed the fire evacuation procedures and assisted guests evacuate their rooms and at the same helped pack their belongings.

She said there were guests who also stepped in to assist save some of the hotel inventory.

"They felt they needed to help," she added.

National Fire Authority chief executive officer John O'Connor said they received the call at 3.32pm.

He said the foyer was fully engulfed with flames when they reached the resort located along the Coral Coast.

He said their main aim was to contain the fire so it did not spread to the accommodation blocks.

"We got in our teams from Sigatoka and Nadi so right now (last night), we're doing our final touch up to ensure it is safe," Mr O'Connor said.

He said the fire was completely put out when this edition went to press. He acknowledged the fire teams from the Warwick and Shangri-La's Fijian Resort for assisting his officers.

Meanwhile, Ms Tam said majority of their guests were relocated to their sister-property, the Warwick Fiji Resort and Spa.

She said those who were due to check out yesterday to fly out from Nadi today were transported to the Tokatoka Resort.

She said their guests who would arrive in the country today would be billeted at the Tokatoka Resort before they organise to transport them to the Warwick or other alternative accommodation.

She said this was done at the hotel's expense.

Anyone who would like to contact friends or family who have been staying at the Naviti Resort are advised to call the Warwick Fiji Resort & Spa on telephone number +679 6530555.

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