Lae Homestate’s second blaze

The Homestate Co-operation head office in Lae was ablaze at around 5pm on Monday.

While there were no casualties, the Fire Service will establish the cause of the incident, pending preliminary investigations.

Acting superintendent, Dennis Hase, said they received a call at 5.21pm yesterday regarding the incident at Macdhui St, market area.

Despite heavy traffic, the fire team managed to make good time with the help of police.

“It was an old building so the fire just raced through it,” said acting supt Hase.

Fortunately, the owners of the rice wholesaler were on the opposite side of the fire.

Hase said the blaze was contained with the help of Puma Energy’s fire team, who put up boundary cooling to prevent the fire from spreading.

He stated that this is the second time one of Homestate’s buildings went up in flames.

“The first time was in 2019. Homestate seriously needs to look into its issues and pay attention to fire safety.

“They made progress with fire equipment but we’ll wait for the completion of the investigation.”

The fire officer said this can happen to any business house, hence the best option is to partner with them and participate in their fire safety programs.

“We will train you and employees will know what to do in the event of a fire emergency,” he stated.

“If you have faulty electrical wiring, call us. We can carry out an audit to ensure your building is in compliance with the building code.

“We can do a fire inspection, audit and we also have good training programs in place.

“Fire safety is a shared responsibility.”

Carmella Gware