50 workers escape fire unharmed, safe

FIFTY staff of a local bus manufacturing company managed to escape a fire when it engulfed their building at Walu Bay in Suva yesterday.

Police officers were at the scene around 8am with officials from St John Ambulance while more than 20 firefighters were trying to extinguish the fire at PA Lal Holdings Ltd.

An employee who wished to remain anonymous told this newspaper that the fire started from one of the departments within the building before it spread to the other parts of the building.

He said nine buses were in the building when the fire broke out but staff members managed to escape the fire.

“We are lucky that no one was stuck inside when the fire broke out because there were like 50 of us inside the building when the incident happened,” he said.

Chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai said they had to rope in fire-fighters based in Valelevu to help out.

“There were four fire trucks at the scene, three from Suva and one from Valelevu with 20 firefighters on the ground during the first response and some who were off-duty were called in, taking the total number of firefighters to 40,” he said.

“We managed to put out the fire at 9.51 am and I think the boys have managed to do a good job on that one.

“I thank them for their hard work and for penetrating through the fire considering there were dangerous flammable materials in the building because it’s a chemical fire.

“Firefighting is not an easy job because when everyone runs out, we will run in to try and contain the fire.

They prevent fire from spreading throughout the building.” Mr Moceitai said they would be carrying out investigations to determine the cause of the fire.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed no one was injured or died in the fire.
P A Lal Group of Companies — a private family company established 63 years ago and operates as follows;
1. Design and construction of bus and coach bodies;
2. Design and construction of truck bodies, caravan, fibreglass baggage trailers and specialty vehicles;
3. New tyre importer;
4. Tyre retreader – Bandag System;
5. Automotive battery distributor;
6. Bosch franchise to service fuel system, electronic fuel injection systems, turbocharger;
7. Bus and truck spare parts;
8. Bus coach body components;
9. Inbound P A Lal Group of Companies Operator

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