Toddler dies in house fire

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A fire claimed the life of a two-year-old in Seaqaqa on Monday. PICTURE: SUPPLIED

Tragedy struck Vunikoka Settlement in Seaqaqa, Labasa when a fire claimed the life of a two-year-old.

The National Fire Authority (NFA) confirmed two children were inside the three-bedroom timber and corrugated iron house at the time of the fire.

The toddler victim was trapped inside their burning home while her three-year-old sister managed to escape to a neighbour’s house.

NFA officials said their parents had left the children alone in the house and had gone to the hospital.

Neighbours’ efforts to call for assistance were thwarted by power outage and poor phone connectivity during the day.

The house suffered extensive damage. Initial investigations by NFA suggest the three-year-old may have been playing with matches, leading to the tragic fire.

NFA chief executive officer Puamau Sowane emphasised the importance of constant supervision especially for young children who have not yet reached school age.

He urged families to prioritise fire safety at home, including having an escape plan and teaching children how to respond in case of a fire.

Mr Puamau also acknowledged the support from Fiji Pine Ltd in extinguishing the fire.

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