By Rebecca Kuku
A CHINESE man was trapped and burnt to death in a fire that razed three buildings off the Gordon Industrial Freeway yesterday morning.
A 17-year-old boy was also injured when he was hit by a vehicle while hastily crossing the road to the fire scene.
The fire destroyed the premises of Kaki Club, Fast Food-KMC and an auto-mart shop.
Waigani Fire Service Station commander Arifeia Farapo told The National that the fire was believed to have started between the club and KMC.
“We received the distress call a bit late.
“By the time were arrived, flames were raging in all three buildings.
“There were also no fire hydrants in the area and the fire engines from Boroko had to return to the station or nearby fire hydrants to refill its water tank.
“It would have made a great deal of difference in reducing the damage and losses if there were hydrants in the vicinity,” he added.
Farapo said a man, who was staying on the first floor of the club, was probably trapped, overcome by smoke and burnt to death.
“We will also be conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire,” he added.
St Johns Ambulance (SJA) commissioner Matt Cannon said: “We received several 111 emergency calls from bystanders.
“The first call was at 9am and an ambulance was rushed to the scene.
“About an hour after, we received a call that a teenager was hit by a vehicle on the Poreporena freeway in his haste to cross the road.
“The boy sustained minor lacerations and was given paramedic treatment at the scene. Only after the emergency medical services crew confirmed that his vitals were stable was he released as he wished,” he added.
Cannon said SJA also received a call at 12.45pm from firemen and police officers to retrieve the remains of a man at the fire site.
“The body was taken to the Port Moresby General Hospital mortuary,” he added.
National Capital District (NCD) ACP Donald Yamasombi was out of town on a police matter when The National contacted him and he could not comment on the fire.
NCD Metropolitan Supt Perou N’dranou, who was also away attending the NCD Law and Order Summit, said the fire was believed to have started at 8am.
“My officers have informed me of the fire.
“I can only comment after a report from them,” he added.