by Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
Two shopping centers in Port Moresby’s Erima suburb have gone up in flames yesterday afternoon.
The shops located metres away from the newly constructed Kookaburra Flyover caught fire at three O’clock.
One of these shops, the Peter Trading was built in the 80’s by a local business man from Southern Highlands.
Kove Pereke who was present at the time, said the fire started from PeterTrading and later moved to the next shop, CJ’s Clothing.
He said by the time the Fire Trucks arrived at the scene to put out the fire, it had already spread to the second shop and was almost reaching the third shop.
Peter Trading was opened in the 1980’s. It is one of the first Kai Bars to be owned and operated by a Papua New Guinean.
It was later leased to an Indian Operator who employed locals to run the shop.
Both shops operate on a 24 hours basis, and in most cases is the final stop for people traveling out of Port Moresby and into Central and Gulf provinces.
Three fire trucks arrived at the scene, both could not save the building because the water pressure was not sufficient to completely put out the fire.
John Gareresi, the Superintendent for the Gerehu Fire Station, explained that though fire fighters responded on time, the fire was huge and it made it impossible to save the nearby building.
Three hours later, a Rescue Fire truck from the National airport Cooperation arrived at the scene and put out the fire.
The cause of the fire has not been established as yet but Superintendent Gareresi, who said investigators from the fire department will be conducting investigations to determine the cause of the fire.