Vanuatu Police families lose homes

Three families of officers of the Vanuatu Police Force had their police rented quarters reduced to ashes by a fire that started at around 6am on Monday this week at the Georges Pompidou Police Staff Quarters in Port Vila.
No lives were lost.

Out of the three Police family quarters, two were razed to the ground.

The fire was alleged to have started as a result of faulty electrical wiring in the center of the three family quarters and quickly spread to another family quarter to the right of the others. It reduced everything to ashes leaving only the cement-structure wall and iron roofing.

One senior police officer and his family that lived in the center quarter lost everything in the fire. The estimated cost of the loss was over 3 million vatu, which the family had acquired over the last 30 years until this week.

The second family living in one of the quarters also lost everything in the fire.
But only the third family managed to save some of their personal belongings.
The wife of a senior police officer that lives in the center quarter, where the fire was alleged to have started, told the Daily Post that one family member woke at around 6am on Monday and saw the fire already burning through the ceiling of the lounge.
He quickly alerted other family members who made quick escapes; one family member escaped through a window.

She said the fire spread fast across the ceiling to two other quarters but luckily the two other families also made quick escapes.

“We have lost everything: beds, tables, chairs, computers, laptops, two cookers, five sewing machines, clothing, many cooking pots and kitchen utensils, glassware, my husband’s police uniforms, our son’s lawyers garments, children’s toys, a keyboard, TV screens and decks, mattresses, pillows, family luggage and three gas bottles, a whole family library and practically everything we have,” she told the Daily Post in tears.
“We just could not do anything as we stood and saw everything go up in flames. But I thank God because all the law study materials and certificates including our son’s university degree were amazingly not touched by the fire,” the mother and wife of a senior police officer said.

She said their son is currently doing his Masters Degree at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra and had already been contacted about the fire.
The families are now living in a tent provided by the Vanuatu Mobile Force outside their fire-damaged homes while waiting for permanent homes.

“We were so encouraged when the Vanuatu Prime Minister Moana Carcasses, was the first to visit us on Monday morning and believe his government, along with the Commissioner of Police and the Vanuatu Police Force will do something to assist us.

“We are also very pleased to have had the senior pastor of our church and other church members visiting and providing our family with basic necessities,” she added.
The Daily Post understands the Red Cross has made contact with the three families.
The Police quarters at Georges Pompidou were built by the French government way back during the colonial days and have continued to provide homes to some senior officers of the Vanuatu Police Force after independence up to now.

The fire service was called at the time of the fire but by the time the fire trucks arrived they were too late to put out the blaze.

Vanuatu Post
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