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Families lose all as 15-year-old home burns

Torika Tokalau
Thursday, February 06, 2014

"WE didn't think that it could ever happen to us".

Roselyn Lata, 35, repeated those words as she tried to come to terms with the morning fire that destroyed their seven-bedroom house at Makoi in Nasinu yesterday.

"Everything is finished. Everything is destroyed. What are we going to do?" Ms Lata cried.

"We never thought this would happen to us. We had no idea this would ever happen to us."

Shortly after 9am, neighbours saw smoke and flames from a corner of the wood and concrete house. Before midday, the house was burnt to the ground with just the foundation of the concrete portion left standing.

"We have lived here for 15 years," she said. My father built this house. And now we have nothing, not even any of our clothes was saved."

Ms Lata said nine people lived in the house, including her mother and tenants. The tenants — a mother and her son — were alone at home when the fire started. Ms Lata's niece had also been in the house but left earlier to go to school.

"I work in a garment factory and we are all struggling. We had money in the house and all our belongings. I can't think of what we are going to do."

NFA chief executive John O'Connor said they were trying to determine the cause of the fire.

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