Local students survive blaze - Solomon Star News

Local students survive blaze

24 January 2020
[Photo: Fiji Sun]

TWO local students studying at the University of South Pacific (USP) Campus at Laucala, Suva, have survived a blaze on Tuesday night which killed an elderly couple.

Dead are Kuar Singh, 79, a retired director of Niranjans Autoport and his wife Ambalika Singh, 74.

The Solomon Islands students were tenants Margaret Konata and Sharon Horioa, who rented the couple’s bottom flat at the Tamasua Street home.

It was reported that the elderly couple died after they were trapped in the fire.

Witnesses said they saw Ms Singh come out of the front door but run back into the house. It is believed that Mr Singh, who was a sickly, was possibly trapped in his room and Ms Singh ran back into the inferno to try and save him.

Both survivors were unaware to the fire that had spread until their neighbours alerted them.

If it weren’t for the timely intervention by neighbours, there would have been four bodies recovered from Matasua Street. 

“It was around 10pm when we heard some commotion outside. The grill was locked. I thought someone was fighting so I went and closed the sliding door and drew the curtains,” Ms Konata told the Fiji Sun newspaper.

“We had no idea that a fire had started on top. We came out when someone came to the door and knocked. He shouted ‘Fire’.”

Both women said they were lucky to be alive. They are now sheltering at a friend’s place next to their burnt flat.

Neighbour and Solomon Islander Paul Hiriasia said Ms Singh had come out of the house to shout for help  but then ran inside again and was never seen.

According to reports gathered at the scene, Mr Singh’s body was found in his room while Ms Singh’s body was located in the living room. Neighbours alleged the fire started from the rooms.

Ms Konata and Ms Horioa said they had stayed at the flat for almost a year. They said the elderly couple were the best landlords they ever had.

The Singh family members are now finalising funeral arrangements.

The National Fire Authority (NFA) managed to contain the fire to the top flat and prevented it from spreading.

The NFA and Police are now investigating the fire.