A black stretched limousine that had been sitting outside the home of well-known Freswota 1 resident Killion Tasso in Port Vila went up in flames at around 3.30 Saturday morning. The cause of the fire is not known and the Police Criminal Investigation Department is understood to have been informed of the incident.
It is not immediately clear at this stage, who was the owner of the vehicle, which has been sitting on the road outside the Tasso’s home for over a year now.
Tasso and his family said they were awake by a loud bang outside their house and saw a huge flame going up on the road where the vehicle was. They said they immediately used a small hose and buckets to douse the flame for fear it would spread to a small thatched roof fare inside their yard.
They said they called the police for help and received a slow response and then a man appeared in a Unelco van and then disappeared to seek help from the Fire Service.
Nearby residents said they also were awaken by loud explosions and “an unbearable smell” with some living over 100 meters away who also heard the explosions saying there was a very strong smell coming from where the explosions were heard.
Private Jack Laipi Johnson and Private Henry Shem Namaka of the Vanuatu Mobile Force Fire Unit said they attended the scene of the fire at 4.30am immediately after a man in a Unelco van arrived and told them about the fire. They added that by the time they arrived at the scene the flame had already died down and only the shell of the vehicle was still smoldering.
An officer of the fire service explained that the loud bang could be the fuel tank exploding after it caught fired.
“Usually when a fire in a vehicle reaches the battery, it burns and transmission wires and then travels through the wires to the fuel tank. This causes the fuel tank to explode with a loud bang and the fire to engulf the vehicle. The strong smell usually comes from burning wire and rubber,” the Fire Service officer explained.