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Residents raise concern over NFA services

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, January 09, 2014

CONCERNS have been raised over the National Fire Authority's services in attending to a fire in Seaqaqa yesterday.

A group of residents claimed that just five minutes after trying to put out the fire, the tank on the NFA truck ran out of water.

Mohammed Khan, chairman of the Seaqaqa NFA volunteers committee, said it was embarrassing standing among the crowd and hearing all the negative comments.

"I can't lie and defend my volunteers or the NFA because the complaints from the people are true. I was there and saw all that happened," he said.

"First of all, only two firemen came all the way from Labasa to attend to the report in Seaqaqa, and not even five minutes of shooting water to stop the fire, the tank ran out of water.

"So the public watched as the firemen drove around Seaqaqa looking for a proper hydrant to fill water because they also brought the wrong fitting on the hose which couldn't connect to the hydrant."

Mr Khan said the search for water took the firemen about 30 minutes before they returned to the scene.

He said during this time, neighbours stepped in and used hosepipes from their homes to put out the fire.

"Even though it didn't work out well, at least the neighbours had some thought for the affected family."

NFA chief executive John O'Connor said the truck used by his team was a small one that contained a smaller tank.

"We only have two trucks in Labasa right now and the bigger truck is here in Suva for repairs and maintenance. The truck used in Seaqaqa has a small tank and that is why the boys had to refill every now and then.

"We received the call at 3.49am and our team made their way down to Seaqaqa."

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