Fire guts Rigo candidate’s home

A local businessman and Rigo candidate lost his home and properties when fire gutted his East Boroko house around 3am yesterday (June 8) morning.

Fortunately, Wari Vele and his family and dependents escaped unscathed.

Candidate Vele is unaware of the cause of the fire, but believes foul play was involved.

“I cannot rule out arson because the fire started from an area (verandah) where there were no electrical wiring,” he told Loop PNG.

He said a group of boys raised the alarm when they noticed flames racing along the roof of the house.

“It was highly suspicious. The fire started and within 15-30 minutes, the entire house was engulfed in flames.”

Vele told Loop that he was at the end bedroom with his wife and two daughters when they heard screams outside.

“We thought that intruders had come in, so I pushed my wife and children into the bathroom while I stood outside to try and protect them,” said the candidate.

However, he was greeted by flames and smoke when he opened their bedroom door.

“Luckily, my in-law and son rushed past me, picked up the two children and led us out of the house.

“We were running straight towards the fire because it was already in our living room. Just as I was exiting the house, a roof beam fell behind me. Had we delayed a second or two, we would have been trapped in there.”

Vele further said firemen arrived at the scene almost an hour later. By then, nothing much was left of their four-bedroom house. A sedan parked near the house was also partly burnt by the raging fire.

Vele, who is a candidate for the Rigo Open seat under the National Alliance Party, said he will not be deterred by disaster but will continue his quest to represent his people at the national parliament.

“The incident has given me the courage and all the more reason to remain focused on my chosen path to campaign harder to represent Rigo people in parliament,” Vele said.

Meanwhile, fire chief Bill Roo told Loop PNG that he is yet to be briefed on the incident.

Carmella Gware