A MOTHER and her four children left home after a family dispute on Christmas Day and returned yesterday to find the home razed to the ground and her husband dead.
Police and the National Fire Authority, which are investigating the incident, said the man allegedly set himself alight in their home outside Nausori early yesterday morning.
The incident has left the Bau Rd/Vuci South Road neighbourhood in shock.
Neighbour Satish Chand said they had taken in the deceased's family.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed the incident, saying it occurred about 12.40am.
She said there was an alleged dispute between the couple and the wife went to her relatives with their children.
Ms Naisoro said officers from the Nausori Police Station confirmed the man, who neighbours say is in his early 50s, was burnt alive in his home.
Mr Chand said the man's death came as a shock because he and his family had resided in the area for about 10 years and they had lived peacefully together.
"It started all of a sudden and everyone is still in shock, especially as it was just after Christmas," Mr Chand said.
When The Fiji Times team visited the neighbour's house, the man's wife and children were still in a state of shock.
Relatives and nearby residents had begun to arrive to support and comfort the family.
NFA CEO John O' Connor confirmed his fire officers received a call at around midnight.
"Along with the help of police and the forensic team, we removed the body remains from the scene," Mr O'Connor said.
"Investigations continue and we are once again reminding the public to avoid spoiling their festive seasons with such acts."