Fire demolishes school

By Yolanda Lavata’i 02 January 2019, 12:00AM

The New Year has started on a sad note for students and teachers at Vailoa Primary School.

A fire ripped through the building yesterday morning, consuming all the classrooms and what was inside.

The Samoa Fire and Emergency Services Authority (F.E.S.A) responded quickly but couldn’t do much. 

Fonima Laban, who lives across the road from the school, told the Samoa Observer their family was woken by the fire and they contacted F.E.S.A. immediately. 

Her niece, Foini Faraimo, explained that the strong soot permeating the air had woken their family.

“The skies were clouded with smoke and we could see the fire from our house,” Foini said.

She said it was too late for any of the villagers and neighbors to do anything because the fire had already spread. They could only wait for the fire services to arrive.

F.E.S.A. prevented the fire from spreading to the school hall and the office building. 

But all classrooms were completely destroyed.

“I am just grateful no lives were lost and that the fire services were able to stop the fire from spreading,” she said.

With school soon to be starting again, Foini said she feels for the students. 

 “We just moved here to my aunty’s place and my children were going to attend Vailoa Primary school this year because it is much closer,” she said. 

“Now with the fire, they will still attend school in Vaitele.”

It was not possible to get an official comment from F.E.S.A. about what started the fire. 

By Yolanda Lavata’i 02 January 2019, 12:00AM

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