FOUR families are homeless after a fire razed their 15-bedroom home in Nadi early yesterday morning.
But the families felt more could have been salvaged from their homes if the National Fire Authority had responded on time. The NFA is only 2km away.
The house was home to former City Security officer Mahendra Prasad, 57, and his extended family, which included the families of his two younger brothers.
His son's family also lived there.
NFA media officer Ritesh Kumar refuted the claim saying they arrived on the scene at 2.58am, after receiving the call at 2.30am.
"At 0256hrs, NFA Nadi received the fire emergency call and upon arrival at the fire scene at 0258hrs, the team saw the corrugated iron and timber structured flats fully engulfed in flames," said Mr Kumar.
When The Fiji Times arrived at the scene, Mr Prasad was sheltering at a neighbour's home.
"We have lost everything. We built this house in 1976 and extended it every now and then, all our blood, sweat and memories burnt down in the house and even our family car," an emotional Mr Prasad said.
"Tonight, we do not know where we will go or what we will do tomorrow."
NFA CEO John O'Connor said two trucks were used to extinguish the flames and one had to return to the Nadi Fire Station to fill water while the other truck continued to douse the fire.
"No one was injured but we are deeply concerned as yet another family is without their home as a result of the fire," Mr O'Connor said.