19 Dec 2005

Fiji businesses express anger over lack of ability to fight fire in Suva

9:36 am on 19 December 2005

There's anger at the lack of capability of Fiji's National Fire Authority following a major blaze in the heart of Suva on Saturday.

The fire, which occurred during the peak shopping period, destroyed the Morris Hedstrom supermarket and damaged adjacent buildings.

The managing director of the large Courts Homecentres shop next door, James Dutta, has told Radio Legend they are planning legal action against the authorities

He has pointed to a large number of major fires in recent times which have destroyed businesses worth tens of millions of dollars.

Mr Dutta is questioning how many more fires will have to take place before some action is taken.

The Suva Chamber of Commerce president, Dr Nur Bano Ali, says they had raised their concerns about the lack of firefighting infrastructure in the city only five days before the weekend blaze.

The president of the Suva Retailers Association, Himmat Lodhia, says the National Fire Authority has a lack of relevant experience as demonstrated at the weekend.

Forensic exports from the Australian Federal Police will be arriving today to look into the cause of the fire.