AN elderly woman was saved from a burning home by an alert group of athletes who heard her screams during a power blackout on Saturday.
The athletes from Rotuma High School were camping at the Churchwood Chapel hall on Rewa Street in Suva when they were alerted to the woman's cries for help down the road on Hunter Street.
"We were warming down after training and it was raining heavily," said a team official who did not want to be named.
"We were on our way up to the church when we heard her. We ran to the house and she was panicking so we told her to calm down."
The team official said the athletes began looking for the source of the fire once inside the house.
"It was in a bedroom on the other side of the house. We collected buckets from inside and formed a line to a nearby drain and filled them. We then broke the room's windows and doused the fire out."
The team of three teachers and seven students helped out and turned off the power switchboard and removed a gas cylinder and other flammable objects.
"We made a quick risk assessment for the team before entering the house to help the woman," the official said.
"We agreed we'd all go and help the women inside we also found a small child of about three or four.
"We called the National Fire Authority and they arrived not long after."
A witness said the fire started after a curtain caught fire from a candle the elderly women lit and left unattended during a power outage in the area.
Firefighters who arrived later took control and secured the home.
National Fire Authority chief executive officer John O'Connor was at the scene and reminded the public not to leave live flames unattended.
Police and NFA investigations are continuing.