Grand­mother hailed a hero

Fiji Sun - - Suncity - JOSAIA RALAGO Edited by Caro­line Ratu­cadra Feed­back: josaia.ralago@fi­jisun.com.fj

An 86-year-old wo­man of Saolo, Wain­unu, in Bua has been hailed a hero af­ter she saved her three grand­chil­dren from a burn­ing home on Wed­nes­day. Varanis­ese Leba was look­ing af­ter her grand­chil­dren in their four-bed­room home at Naru­arua, set­tle­ment, out­side Saolo Vil­lage, when it caught fire around 6am.

Saolo Turaga ni Koro, Sireli Nawakalukalu, said their house was one and a half kilo­me­tre from the vil­lage.

“The chil­dren’s mother, Los­alini Manonoa, had gone to the neigh­bour­ing Nakawakawa Vil­lage to buy sugar when the fire oc­curred,” Mr Nawakalukalu said. “Vara was cooking in the kitchen; the two older chil­dren (four-year-old Ratu Manasa and three-year-old Loata) were play­ing in the sit­ting room while their four-year-old-sis­ter, Maraia was in the room with their fa­ther.

“Their fa­ther, Kalio­vati Manono, be­fore go­ing out to the farm had brought his youngest to the sit­ting room where the two elder ones were. “Mo­ments later, Ms Leba got a shock when her three year old grand-daugh­ter Loata rushed to her scream­ing “Nau, yavu! yavu!” (Grandma, fire! fire) “When she ran to the sit­ting room, all she could see was smoke, she grabbed the two older ones and ran out­side, all the while think­ing Maraia was in the room. “She left them out­side and ran again inside the burn­ing house to search for the tod­dler in their room. “It was the sound of the child’s shrills in the liv­ing room that di­verted her to that di­rec­tion, picked up her grand­daugh­ter and rushed her to safety.” Peo­ple from the neigh­bour­ing vil­lages and farms rushed to the lo­ca­tion when they saw smoke em­a­nat­ing from there. Po­lice con­firmed a child had suf­fered 10 per cent burns and was ad­mit­ted at the Wain­unu Health Cen­tre. Po­lice spokesper­son Ana Naisoro said in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues.

The burnt house at Saolo Vil­lage, Wain­unu, Bua, on Wed­nes­day.

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