Plaza fire probe continues

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 13 February 2024, 10:00PM

The investigation into the cause of the fire at the S.N.P.F. Plaza on Monday night continues and no determination has been made yet on how the fire started, according to the Fire and Emergency Service Authority (F.E.S.A.) Commissioner. 

Tanuvasa Petone Mauga, responding to queries from the Samoa Observer on Tuesday and stated that finalising the investigation details will require some time. 

He confirmed that the fire originated within the Frankies Supermarket outlet situated on the plaza's ground floor. 

Tanuvasa noted that determining the cause of such incidents typically takes time, requiring a thorough examination of the premises and gathering information before concluding.

He mentioned the presence of cameras within the building aiding their investigation, with plans to collect footage during the process. Tanuvasa also confirmed the activation of the fire alarm, which alerted individuals in the vicinity and their office. 

He confirmed that they sealed off the building after they put off the fire on Monday night. 

Despite people being present in the plaza's offices when the fire began, all managed to evacuate safely. 

Tanuvasa expressed gratitude to those who assisted firefighters in containing the fire before it spread to neighbouring companies and offices within the plaza.

He also stressed the importance of installing fire safety equipment such as alarm systems, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers in offices and homes to aid in emergencies. 

"It's very crucial to have those systems in place as it helps save your properties but most importantly the lives of our people," Tanuvasa said. 

"We encourage people to install those in their offices and also their homes to help detect and suppress fires."

The plaza houses several companies including Digicel Samoa, Fiji Airways, DMC, a private clinic, the Ministry of Public Enterprises, and offices for Samoa's diplomatic partners and others.

Most of these companies and government ministries were temporarily closed for businesses on Tuesday. 

It is believed that the fire started around 7 pm while most of the buildings were empty.

As the rain poured down on Apia, Monday night, the firefighters kept on working until late. 

There was an insinuation from security officers working at the plaza that the fire could have been an act of arson. 

Attempts have been made to get comments from the landlord of the building, Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.). 

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 13 February 2024, 10:00PM
Samoa Observer

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