Deadly shop fire in Nadi claims one life

CAPTION: Fire officers at the scene of the incident at Nadi?s Main Street this morning. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

One man is dead and another is in a critical condition following a fire at a clothing outlet in Main Street Nadi last night.

According to Police , the incident occurred at 0052hrs.

?A late night fire at a clothing shop along Main Street Nadi has claimed a life,? police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed.

The deceased, a 38-year-old was carrying out some carpentry work with the owner when the fire allegedly started.

Upon arrival at the scene, Police found the 51-year-old owner who had sustained burns lying on the main street.

Police was informed that the deceased was trapped inside and he was rushed to the Nadi Hospital, however due to the intensive burns, the victim lost his life.

Firefighters managed to put out the fire however a nearby shop also sustained damage as a result of the fire.

The shop owner who sustained 75% burns is currently at the Lautoka Hospital.

The shop owner?s brother confirmed to The Jet, the he is in a critical condition fighting for his life.

The National Fire Authority is also carrying out its own investigations. Fire officers were present at the scene of the incident when this newspaper visited the area.

Below is a press release from NFA:

NFA averts major fire in Nadi Town

A ?property fire at the Main Street of Nadi Town claimed the life of a man and injured his male accomplice as a result of the fire incident at the His and Hers clothing outlet in Nadi Town in the early hours of this morning.

The Nadi Police had alerted the National Fire Authority (NFA) at 0045hrs this morning that the building was on fire and that there was a possibility that a person was trapped inside the His and Hers Shop while another person has been rushed to the hospital. The fire also partly damaged the Cake World Store which was beside the His and Hers clothing outlet.

The Nadi and the Lautoka Fire Stations both responded to the fire emergency call.

When the crew arrived, both the shops were on fire and engulfed with flames and smoke. Due to the magnitude of the fire, the firefighters fought hard to extinguish the fire within the two shops to prevent the fire from spreading to the row of shops in the Main Street of Nadi Town. There was no possibility of safely rescuing the trapped person.

The fire claimed the life of a man and injured his male accomplice who is currently admitted at the hospital with burns sustained as a result of this fire incident.

NFA is working closely with the Police in the conduct of the investigation into the fire to determine what the two men were doing on site at the early hours of the morning and why they were not able to safely evacuate the building.

Our main focus was to stop the fire from spreading to other businesses and we would also like to thank Airport Fiji Limited Nadi Fire Tanker for assisting us in fighting the fire. We were able to contain the fire from spreading to other businesses in the Main Street of Nadi Town at 0122hrs.

CEO John O?Connor raised NFA?s concern on the recent spate of property fires in 2013.

?NFA is really concerned as within few days in 2013, NFA has attended to two major commercial fires for the month of January following the Shop and Save Supermarket fire incident in Tavua Town last week and the His and Hers clothing outlet which claimed the life of another human being.

?This fire case is the fifth structural fire incident in 2013 following three house fire incidents since the beginning of 2013 and the commercial fire at Shop and Save Supermarket?, Mr O?Connor said.

The NFA CEO is urging the business owners to ensure that they take extra care when conducting maintenance works of their premises to ensure fire safety procedures are followed at all times which will prevent fire related deaths and injuries at workplace.

?Business owners must also ensure that they comply with NFA?s fire safety requirements to avoid the risk of fires occurring in their properties.

?We hope that the members of the community take heed of our advice to avoid unnecessary fire incidents from damaging or destroying their properties?, Mr O?Connor added.

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