Man Who Called Out To Mother Heard Only Of Murmurs Before Fire Engulfed Her
The tragedy happened hours after the family had gone to bed following Diwali celebrations
Simon Raj cried out to his 60-year-old mother who was in her smoke-filled bedroom but heard only two slight murmurs and then there was silence.
Mr Raj, 30, will never forget that moment ever, hearing the last feeble voice of his mother and who’s also a grandmother, Anil Anjili, and then watching the fire engulf her and their four-bedroom home. Moments earlier he had to smash the window to his parents’ bedroom to allow his father, Ramen, escape the early morning blaze at Vitogo, in Lautoka.
His five-year-old son, Deviance Devnil Raj, had earlier been pushed out through the bedroom window to allow him to escape. The tragedy happened hours after the family had gone to bed following Diwali celebrations. “We had gathered together and everyone was happy, including mum.
“My dad is still in hospital, suffering from excessive smoke he inhaled but he still does not know mum is dead,” a teary eyed Mr Raj said. “After we had taken mum’s body to the mortuary, I went up to the ward to see him and the first thing he asked was whether my mother was okay. “He asked whether we had saved her and was she alright. I could not answer him.” Mr Raj said his mother was usually up and about at 4am every morning but because of all the hype of Diwali, she was probably tired and slept in. “I was awoken by the smoke inside my room and sensing there was a fire, I smashed the window in my bedroom and pushed my son out. “I could not go out through the door and also went through the window and started shouting for everyone to wake up as the house was on fire.” Mr Raj said he tried to go in through the front of the house but decided to go to his parents’ room from the outside. There, he physically pulled off the wire mesh for the window and broke the glass. Mr Raj said his father managed to come out and he called out twice to his mother amidst all the smoke pouring out from the room. “All I heard was two small murmurs and then she was silent.” The National Fire Authority arrived at the scene as soon as they received the call, but there was nothing that could be done as the home was almost completely burnt. He later found the badly burnt body of his mother lying near the window, which made him assume that she was trying to escape but was overcome by the dense smoke in the room. Mr Raj’s brother, Rohit, who lives about 20 metres away said by the time they woke up, it was too late. “We were so happy last night (Sunday) as a family, including my mother and how could we have known such a thing would happen.” Police spokesperson, Ana Naisoro said the cause of fire and other information was still being gathered by investigators from both the Fiji Police Force and the National Fire Authority.
Pictured outside the burnt house are Simon Raj with his son, Deviance, and brother, Rohit.
Deceased, Anil Anjili.