Fire destroys dorm

Ilaisa Koroi pointing to the burnt dormitory at Adi Cakobau School. Picture: Rohit Deo

TEMPORARY measures have been put in place by the Education Ministry for Adi Cakobau School students whose dormitory was destroyed in a fire yesterday morning.

In a statement yesterday, Government confirmed the fire at the ‘Q Dorm’ in the all-girls school in Sawani, Naitasiri started around 8am.

Education Minister Rosy Akbar visited the school soon after the fire was contained and expressed relief that neither students nor teachers were injured in the incident.

However, the belongings of 17 students were destroyed in the fire.

“The ministry, working with the head of school, has put the following arrangements in place — replacement items, including clothing, toiletries and bedding will be purchased this afternoon (yesterday) from the Free Education Grant, counselling as may be required is being co-ordinated by the Substance Abuse Advisory Council, some students, who are able, have volunteered to move home and attend as a day student while the others will share space in the remaining dormitories for the short term, other students who live close to the school, but who are currently boarders will be approached to move home to provide space in dormitories for those whose parents are on the islands or in areas far from the school,” Government revealed in a statement.

National Fire Authority chief executive officer Manasa Lesuma yesterday confirmed that upon arrival at the scene, the building structure had been fully engulfed.

“However, fire officers were able to contain the fire and stop the fire from spreading to nearby buildings,” he said. According to the school caretaker, Ilaisa Koroi, the fire started around 8am.

“We heard students shouting “kama” (fire). When we came down we saw that the dormitory was on fire,” he said.

“We could not do anything. It was an old wooden building and the fire spread very fast. Within minutes the whole building was gone,” he added.

Mr Koroi said no one was present inside the building when the fire started.

He added that he had been working for the school since 1987 and said this was the first time for him to witness a fire at the school.

“I have been here for 33 years and this is the first time I saw a building get torched.

“Everything happened so fast and it is understandable as the building was very old,” he added.

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