Company loses over K4.5 million in fire

National, Normal

A MAJOR wholesale and retail outlet in Bialla town, West New Britain province, was completely gutted by fire last Thursday costing the owners more than K4.5 million in losses.
The outlet is Asian-owned, and police in the province have ruled out any link to anti-Asian sentiments.
The fire which started at about 6.15pm, destroyed Dominant Trading Limited.
Provincial police commander Chief Insp Richard Mulou said he was alerted to the fire the same evening by station commander Sr Insp Gordon Magum.
Sr Insp Magum said the fire had completely engulfed the whole building and they could do nothing  watch helplessly as the two-storey building was razed to the ground.
Attempts by police and the management to get a local water cart to put out the fire were unsuccessful.
The fire was reported the same evening to
the Fire Brigade in Kimbe but they could
do nothing as Bialla is some two to three hours drive by road. 
Bialla, the second biggest urban centre in West New Britain does not have a fire station.
“There were no reports of casualties
or injuries related to
the fire and I have instructed Sr Insp Magum to secure the scene for investigations by both police
and the fire department,” Chief Insp Mulou said.
He said the fire was first detected by a company technician working on the TV dish at the back who saw smoke coming from the wholesale department and raised the alarm. 
However, it took only minutes for the fire to engulf the entire building. 
Police have recommended to the owners that a qualified fire investigator to come from Port Moresby to investigate and establish the cause of the fire.