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Fiji Time: 11:57 AM on Friday 22 August

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Fire alarm

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, January 18, 2014

SEVENTEEN days and ten fires. These are the alarming statistics that have greeted Fiji in the first half of January, making for an alarming average of almost one fire every second day.

Compare this with 15 fires for the whole of January last year and the statistics are a major cause for concern for the NFA.

His comment came in the wake of a fire in Suva yesterday.

"It's just the 17th and this is the 10th fire in the year. It's quite a huge concern and I'm always on record seeking the support of the members of the community," NFA CEO John O'Connor said.

"Reducing the number of fires cannot be done by the NFA alone. We need the support of the members of the community to take fire prevention seriously.

"You won't feel the impact unless it happens to you and we don't want any more families to go through losing everything in a fire. We are humbly seeking the members of the community to please take fire safety seriously, practise fire safety and discuss fire safety with your families."

Yesterday's fire destroyed the Cope Constructions Limited warehouse on the crowded Lalita Bhindi St in Vatuwaqa.

But quick action from the NFA averted what could have been a major disaster for adjacent properties.

"We have a few big industrial buildings at the back. We have Ranjit Garments and other industrial sites and it would have been a disaster but I'm just thankful that we were able to control the fire," Mr O'Connor said. He explained the NFA arrived on the scene 12 minutes after it received the first call

"Based on our assessment the priority was to try and save the two attached buildings so we managed to control the fire and also at the same time save the other buildings."

Imtiaz Mohammed, who owns two properties including the property next to the razed building, was thankful for the work of the NFA.

"I own a retreading service and our warehouse is our bulk storage for the tyres so we are thankful that it didn't catch fire because the tyres would have burned out of control," Mr Mohammed said.

NFA trucks at the scene yesterday had to fetch water from a fire hydrant in Raiwaqa because of low water pressure in the Lalita Bhindi St hydrant, however, Mr O'Connor said the WAF was professional and efficient in assisting the NFA to fight the fire.

NFA investigations are continuing.


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