THE National Fire Authority has once again expressed concern at the increase in house fires nationwide.
And the authority has again reminded people to take extra care and heed the repeated advice and awareness messages.
So far this year, the NFA has attended to 17 property and small house fires, with the latest fire at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks in Nabua, Suva on Thursday.
Early on Thursday, a three-bedroom house on Carreras Road in Votualevu, Nadi was destroyed by fire.
At about midday on Thursday, a two-bedroom corrugated iron and timber house on Bilo St in Nakasi was razed.
"The recent increase in house fire incidents in 2013 is a great concern to the NFA which is reminding people of the importance of fire safety at home," said NFA chief executive John O'Connor.
"So far this year, into the month of February, NFA has attended to 17 property and small house fires and we are really concerned with the recent increase in house fire incidents."
Mr O'Connor said the NFA has kept reminding people to take extra care but fires continued to happen in the communities.
He said it was important for homeowners to take heed of the fires happening and the devastation the cause.
Also, he said, homeowners should take extra care at home and discuss fire safety issues with their families.
"We must discuss fire safety in our families so that our family members are aware of the dangers of a fire and what to do in case of a fire," he said. Mr O'Connor said the NFA needed the support of members of the community and he urged them to be more vigilant and regularly check their homes.