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Church family’s escape was an Easter miracle

Saturday 11 April 2020 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Outer Islands


Church family’s escape was an Easter miracle
The Cook Islands Christian Church pastor's house on Omoka suddenly caught fire on Wednesday. HELEN LINA KIRIKAVA 20040925 / 20040926 / 20040927.

Easter Weekend will be a sombre affair on the island of Omoka, in Penrhyn.

The Cook Islands Christian Church pastor’s house caught fire on Wednesday at midday – the first house fire on the island in living memory.

Fortunately, Reverend Harry Rongo and his family were not home.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined, but it is assumed electrical wiring ignited the destructive blaze in the two-storey house.

Everything inside the property was destroyed, but nobody was hurt.

Papa Tini Ford said: “It is very sad for us, but we are happy that no one was hurt, everyone is safe.”

The youth were quick to respond to the disaster and everyone gathered to do what they could to douse the flames.

The Ekalesia house was built in 1987/88.

Relatives from New Zealand, Australia and Rarotonga fundraised and funded the construction of the building, located near the harbour.