Fire destroys houses

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EIGHTY people in the remote Wangeto village in Raicoast district, Madang are homeless after their houses were destroyed in a fire last Friday.
Wangeto villager Wapia Bima said two elementary school children started the fire to cook their breakfast before going to school but did not put out the fire completely.
Bima said the village had a full week of dry weather and windy conditions so the fire spread quickly through the children’s home and destroyed seven others.
According to Bima, no one could put out the fire and it raged through their homes and destroyed properties including solar panels, utensils and clothes.
“I look after the Wangeto airstrip and all the airstrip cone marks and three lawnmowers to cut grass on the airstrip were burnt with my house,” Bima said.
He said last Friday was a sad day for the villagers because they lost everything in the fire except the clothes they were wearing.
Bima who arrived in Madang town yesterday said he wanted to report the matter to the disaster authorities to seek help for the victims who lost their homes.
He said Wangeto, in the hinterlands of Raicoast, was a difficult place with no road links and whatever the people had shouldered from the coast into the village was all gone in the fire.
Bima said the only building left standing was the Lutheran church at one end of the village.
He hopes the disaster office would assist the villagers with clothes and tents while they seek new materials to rebuild their houses.

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