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NFA investigates alleged misconduct

May 28, 2020 6:50 am
The National Fire Authority will conduct an internal investigation into reports of alleged misconduct levelled at the fire officers. [Source: National Fire Authority]

The National Fire Authority will conduct an internal investigation into reports of alleged misconduct levelled at the fire officers.

The allegations have been made against officers who were trying to put out a major fire in Rakiraki Town on Monday.

In the incident two large buildings which housed the businesses of A. Gafoor & Sons Shop No.1 and Shop No. 2, Ba Motor Parts, Raj Associates, Raj Wine & Dine, a Computer shop, a Barber shop, a Tailoring shop, a Phone shop were fully destroyed.

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Six residential flats in the same building were partially damaged.

NFA chief executive Puamau Sowane confirms an internal investigation is being conducted to verify these allegations and any confirmation of misconduct will result in serious disciplinary action.

Sowane says officers who are confirmed to have behaved unprofessionally during the course of their duty will face serious consequences in accordance with the NFA’s Policies and Procedures.

Meanwhile Sowane says the fire in Rakiraki is the second major commercial fire within a span of only five days following last Friday’s fire incident at the Suva Flea market.

He confirms both fire incidents started from kitchen areas which, unfortunately, escalated and spread to other adjacent or adjoining businesses in the area, causing serious damages and economic losses.

He says for the incident in Rakiraki Town, the fire crew fought very hard against heavy smoke caused by highly flammable material in that area coupled with windy conditions that hampered their efforts to stop the fire from spreading.

Sowane further explained that amidst speculation that the Rakiraki Fire Truck arrived with no water in the tank, it is important to understand that the Fire Truck holds a tank capacity of 2,000 litres and with the output rate of 125 litres per minute at 700kpa, the total tank capacity is discharged within 16 minutes.

He says while there was connectivity to the hydrant supply, it was unfortunate that the water supply pressure at that crucial moment was too low and inadequate to support the fire crew’s effort to extinguish the fire.

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