FIRE IN ONESOSOPO LEAVES FAMILY FRUSTRATED WITH FIRE BUREAU AND ASPA
“Man made materials are replaceable, but the main point is… that we are all safe” said a family member of the Sao family, whose seven-bedroom two-story residence was destroyed in a fire yesterday midmorning in Onesosopo. The family members, who wished not be named told Samoa News that they are thankful that no one was injured or harmed from the fire and they are all safe.The residence was occupied by a couple with their daughter and her husband and their three children. The daughter told Samoa News that their family was renovating the house and they were almost done with the second floor.In photos Samoa News took during the fire, it appears the 2nd floor was totally engulfed in flames and destroyed, and although the outer shell seems to be intact on the bottom floor, the house is uninhabitable.“My parents spent more than $10,000 on the materials for the renovation and we were waiting for the delivery of our ready-made kitchen cabinets, to be delivered today, and now everything is gone” she said.The daughter said, they had wanted to tear the house down and build a new home, but her mother refused to tear it down, because the home belongs to her parents. The Sao family home was built in the 1970s.The mother spoke of her frustration with the Fire Bureau and the American Samoa Power Authority. “I called the fire people three times and they said that they are on their way, but we waited for a very long time.“The firemen arrived and it took forever to get their equipment up and running, and by that time the fire was already burning everything on the second floor,” said the mother.She further stated that the firefighters ran out of water from their vehicle and they had to wait for another fire truck because the water coming from the fire hydrants near the residence was too slow.“Police Captain Molelei Tavai called ASPA and told them to turn up the pressure for the fire hydrant in Aua because the firefighters need to use it,” said the woman. Samoa News noted that a day care was located near the burning home, and across the road is where the Origin Energy Tank Farm is located.The woman said they were inside their home on the first floor when smoke was coming from the second floor and when they exited the house the top floor was covered with black smoke.“I immediately ran to the day care, two houses away from my house and told the owner to evacuate the children because of the smoke,” said the mother.More than 30 fire fighters were working to eliminate the fire along with assistance from close to 20 police officers. Representative Faimealelei Allen was among family members who visited the family whose residence was destroyed.Samoa News was unsuccessful in obtaining information from the officials of the fire bureau as to why the fire started. Calls to Commissioner of Public Safety William Haleck were not returned as of news time. Perhaps some good news from the fire: the father told Samoa News that they have always wanted to build a new house so now this has happened, they will finally get to build a new home for their family.