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‘Be vigilant, look out for your neighbours’

Thursday 17 August 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Crime, Local, National


‘Be vigilant, look out  for your neighbours’
The two-storey Nikao backroad home sustained significant damage in a fire last week. MELINA ETCHES/23080239/23080240/23080241

No one was hurt in a fire that destroyed a shed on private property in Nikao on Tuesday afternoon.

According to an Airport Rescue Fire Service spokesperson, the blaze appears to have started from a rubbish heap fire and was fanned by the wind, spreading to the shed and destroying it.

The fire was reported at 5.55pm and the firefighters had the blaze under control by 6.15pm, the spokesperson said. The Puaikura Volunteer Fire Brigade also attended the scene.

Vaka Takitumu’s Teimurimotia Volunteer Fire Brigade’s fire chief Alistair Macquarie said their fire truck was about half way to the Nikao fire when they received notification that the fire had been contained.

Motorists appear to have improved their driving behaviour towards emergency vehicles, said Macquarie who last week called out Rarotonga motorists following hold ups during an emergency on the island.

“The traffic was pretty good in moving off the road to make way for the fire truck,” Macquarie yesterday said. “Except for one pickup truck and a motorbike rider who seemed unaware of the fire trucks pealing sirens.”

Macquarie is asking people to be extra vigilant around their homes, to keep an eye out on their neighbours’ properties, and to be prepared.

“Look out for each other and look out for your neighbours,” he said.

In recent weeks, two homes have been destructed by fires. The fire investigation reports on these homes have yet to be released.

Two people escaped a blaze which quickly engulfed the first floor of a two-storey home in Ngatangiia late last month.

A radiothon and barbeque fundraiser will be held tomorrow (Friday) to assist Kainuku Kapiriterangi Ariki - Kapiriterangi Tere, whose home was gutted.

Kapiri Tiaiti, the only daughter of Kainuku Kapiriterangi Ariki, said the fundraising drive was initiated by the Ngatangiia community.

“We are very grateful to the community for thinking of us and we are appreciative, and to uncle Kau Mapu (Kauono for Kivao Rangatira),” she said.

Tiaiti added that they have purchased a hospital bed for their mother, who is coping well.

The radiothon will start from 12 noon to 6pm, and the plates of food will start selling from 12 noon at the Avana Nui Meeting House.

Earlier this month the home of Kafo and Pae Tuteru behind the National Sports Arena was destroyed.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by their family. Funds will be used towards the couple’s medical and housing costs as they both try to recover during this difficult time. As of yesterday, A$6245 (NZ$6745) had been raised. The aim is to raise A$15,000.