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Fiji Time: 8:37 PM on Thursday 24 April

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Early morning fire destroys community radio station

Felix Chaudhary
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A POPULAR Hindi community radio station in the Western Division was destroyed by fire early yesterday morning.

The fire at Ba based Radio Paschim started about 1am.

Officers from the National Fire Authority in Ba managed to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading to adjacent buildings in the heart of the town.

According to a statement released by the NFA, the radio station housed on the top floor of the building and a residential block were completely destroyed.

"At the time of the incident, the family of the radio station owner were in the residential block but they were able to escape without sustaining any injuries," the NFA said.

The station is owned by Manoj Sharma, who is out of the country, and was managed by his 18-year-old son, Monish Sharma. NFA said investigations into the cause of the fire were in progress.

NFA chief executive officer John O'Connor urged businesses to have their premises inspected to ensure compliance with fire safety standards to reduce the risk of fires.

He called on businesses, organisations, corporations, schools and government departments to contact the NFA to conduct fire risk assessments and identify possible fire hazards.

"NFA continues to urge and plead with the members of the community to change their attitude and acknowledge that a fire can occur to anyone and as such members of the community are advised to exercise extra care within their homes to avoid fires," he said.

Mr O'Connor also urged residents around the country to be extra vigilant during Diwali and to ensure that lit candles and diya were closely monitored at all times and for cooking not to be left unattended.

He also said special care should be taken not to overload power outlets when using decorative lights and for parents and guardians to monitor all use of fireworks.