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Namukulu House Fire

1927

Namukulu House Fire

While the island was welcoming the New Zealand Prime Minister Hon Bill English on his first in that office, a small tragedy was unfolding in the village of Namukulu. One of the island’s most respected elder and veteran politician Mr Jack Willie Lipitoa and his wife Moka are left homeless when a fire razed their home to the ground last week. Two fire engines, part of Hanan Airport’s fire fighting unit, rushed to the scene but there was nothing to be done.

Jack Willie’s home burned beyond recognition.

People from neighbouring villages came to offer whatever assistance they could, but the fire had taken hold. They could do little but watch with frustration.

Jack’s home, Namukulu, reduced to a rubble by fire.

Jack and Moka were not at home when the fire broke out – believed to be started by a mosquito coil – and the alarm was raised by a neighbour. It’s understood that the elderly couple had lost all their possessions in the fire. Friends and family were quick to offer support.

Like most homes on the island fire insurance is simply not available; no offshore insurance company is prepared to provide insurance cover for the island, not even for cyclones.

It is fortunate that house fires are not a common occurrence but that is little comfort to Jack and Moka. It’s understood that the house was the Kaukasi family home before Jack moved in.

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