Firefighters save the day

A gush of water fires upward from a hose as firefighters control the fire at a restaurant at the Port of Suva wharf area. Picture: ATASA MOCEITUBA

TEN firefighters worked hard to prevent a fire from completely engulfing a restaurant and nearby premises at the Port of Suva yesterday.

Security officer at the restaurant Semisi Matakibau claimed the fire started from a grill in the kitchen and broke out into the restaurant at 10am.

Metuisela Ledua, who was among the few who witnessed yesterday’s fire, said they were heading back to the port when they saw the premises covered in smoke.

He said none of them knew how the fire started, but they were thankful to be alive. “Luckily, the team from National Fire Authority (NFA) arrived on time.

Had they not, the whole building would have burnt down and people would have lost their jobs,” Mr Ledua said Bharti Singh of Tian Yi Shipping agencies said no one knew about the fire until they heard the alarm go off.

“Our office is just beside the restaurant and our warehouse caught fire too, but fortunately no one got hurt,” Ms Singh said.

Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd said that quick reaction from the NFA team prevented the fire from destroying Shed 6. “Operations at Port of Suva is normal and is not affected by the incident,” FPCL said.

NFA chief executive officer Manasa Lesuma said the Suva Fire Station was alerted through a call and immediately responded at 10.03am.

He said his team arrived at the scene at 10.05am, used two deliveries and a nearby fire hydrant to extinguish the fire.

“Quick action from the officers stopped the fire from spreading to other adjoining buildings,” Mr Lesuma said.

He thanked firefighters for their quick action and persistence in quickly containing the fire from spreading. Members of the public are once again advised to be vigilant when cooking or while in the kitchen.

NFA will be conducting its investigations to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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