27 June 2019, Apia Samoa. A farmhouse that belongs to Leisha Steffany-Slade and her late husband Raymond Slade at Aleisa, occupied by Fu’a and Leonard Steffany was destroyed by a fire this morning.
The Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) team stationed at Tuanaimato were quick to respond to the call and told Samoa Global News that they had to “follow the smoke” to find the inland location of the fire.
Joe Steffany who lives nearby told Samoa Global News that the farm house belonged to his sister and her late husband, but that his son Leonard was living in it with his wife.
He said he was looking after his grandchildren while his son and his wife had gone into town, so they were shocked when they saw the flames.
“They left early this morning to take their produce to town for sale;
“When we came up, we saw that the flames were mostly around the kitchen area, but it’s odd because they’ve been gone for at least four hours.
“I was babysitting, so it’s just me and my grandchildren here at home;
“The kids were playing infront of my house below there, and when we looked up, we could see this house where my son and his wife live, going up in smoke”.
Joe does not own a phone and says that the neighbours closer to the roadside had called the fire department.
“No I don’t have a phone. I don’t really have a need for one,” he said.
“Ou te leiloa poo le a le mafua’aga ua mu ai le fale.
“Sa ta’aalo a tamaiti i luma ane o lo’u fale ae o’u tilotilo mai ua mu atu luga le fale lea e nonofo ai lo’u atali’i ma lona to’alua.”
A very articulate nine year old Mele Steffany jumped in wanting to respond to questions, and said none of her things were inside her fathers house because she mostly lives with her Papa next door.
“Na o t-shirts lava o si ou tei lā e iai, ae o a’u ia, e leai se mea o i totonu aua ou te nofo lava a’u ia iā Papa;
“Na’o meaafale lava sa i totonu o le fale ae leai se isi o matou na a’afia;
“O faaamalū ma lavalava ma le pusa aisa ma le umukuka.”
Team Leader of FESA at Tuanaimato Puni Ma’atusi told Samoa Global News that when they arrived at the scene there was nothing to salvage
“The fire had consumed the house but we were able to contain it quickly and make sure that the electric wires were secured.
“Matou te o’o mai ua sosolo uma le afi ma ua leai se mea o le fale o totoe atu;
“Pau lava le matou galuega o le fa’aumatia o le afi mai le sosolo aemaise lava i uaea eletise o lo’o latalata mai i le meatonu lea e mu.”