Six (6) adults and seven (7) children including an infant were displaced on Sunday after a house fire gutted the 2nd floor of a wooden two-storey, two-family home at “Siksia” area of Meketii hamlet in Koror.
The families were quickly assisted by Palau Red Cross Society that helped secure emergency lodging for the night and provided groceries, hygiene kits, and gift certificates for the victims’ immediate needs according to a report from the Ministry of Justice.
Meanwhile, community members have offered help including offering one-month rent-free housing for the families affected.
The fire is said to help started on the 2nd floor of the building and suspected to have been caused by an electrical fire. Report from MOJ said that Criminal Investigation Division and Palau Public Utilities Corporation are investigating and expected to complete their report on Monday.
Quick response time and fast-thinking by the fire crew helped to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to multiple homes that are close to the burning house, according to a report from Ministry of Justice.
Division of Fire and Rescue received the emergency report of the fire at 3:47 pm and the on-duty firefighters, Bow Umedib, Mecheuached Sebalt, and Nathan Adelbai, got to the scene immediately to secure the area and the family. Rescue Pumper Tanker Truck with additional water was brought to the scene within 12 minutes of the call by off-duty firefighters Benedict Kintaro and Louie P to allow the firetruck to remain at the scene to fight the fire.
More off-duty firefighters responded shortly to prevent fire from spreading to nearby homes in the congested residential area. At the scene were Fire Chief Eriich, EMT Kayla Rebluud and Meketii Legislator and ARFF firefighter Omelau Eledui. Other off-duty firefighters assisting were Derrick David, Dudley Derbai, Corey Bechab, Flavin Etpison, Castro Stanley and Jordan Tewid.
Report from MOJ said the fire destroyed the entire second floor and was put out at around 6:15pm. (By: L.N. Reklai)