Editorial comment – Heartbreaking report

Devastated mother Rital Prasad is consoled by a family member. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

It’s when you read such heartbreaking reports like those on Page 3 today that one can get emotional about house fires.

We must be vigilant always when it comes to fire safety, in fact that should be the frame of mind we carry when it comes to safety issues and tips.

It does not matter whether it is fire safety, water safety or road safety.

It is when such emotional reports are read that we truly appreciate the pain and suffering, and those who will live with painful and bitter memories for the rest of their lives.

It is tough. It is sad, and unfortunate.

That’s just the way life is though. We live with joyful moments and should appreciate there may be painful moments as well.

The quiet community of Nadele in Sabeto was in a state of shock yesterday after a house fire killed three people.

It destroyed an eight-bedroom home. Neighbours, family and friends mourned the loss of 92-year-old Bhagwan Dean and his 87-year-old wife, Aqliman Bibi and their five month old grandson Adrien Ruhan Rai.

They relived the terrifying moments that ended with death.

Long-time neighbour Mitieli Cagilaba was one of the first to arrive at the scene when he heard cries for help from Adrien’s mother Rital Ritika Prasad. By then the blaze was too strong as they tried to save the elderly couple and child.

Mr Dean’s brother-in-law Udra Prasad said he had last seen the couple alive on Sunday.

Heartbroken Rital Ritika Prasad’s body was covered with burns but the physical pain was nothing compared with the pain of losing her five-month-old son.

She was overcome with emotions as she watched police officers retrieve the bodies of her son Adrien and her in-laws.

The 28-year-old mother managed to escape with her two-year-old daughter Namaya Rai and husband Nilesh Rai, 42.

The survivors were sleeping in the house with the victims when they were awoken by the blaze at around midnight. She spoke about how they tried to save the three.

The fire was overwhelming though. In the end, they could only look on as it engulfed their home, and took away their family members. It is tough and horrifying to think about.

Yet this is a reality of life. Fires happen. Accidents happen. In many instances, they happen because we allow them. Our challenge is to be proactive always.

That means appreciating fire safety tips, understanding and being aware of fire hotspots at home, and putting in place appropriate safety measures, and evacuation plans. This is a sad and emotional report.

It touches at the very heart of parenthood.

Today as family members grieve, and the police and NFA do their investigations, we must appreciate the power of house fires.

We must appreciate the pain it can leave in its wake. We must appreciate what we can lose, and the impact house fires have on our lives when loved ones perish.

It is important that we adhere to fire safety tips now.

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