Kudjip Mission Station, Papua New Guinea: At approximately 9 AM, Friday morning, August 21, 2015 (7pm, Thursday, August 20, Eastern U.S. time) a fire broke out in a staff residence on the Kudjip Station in Papua New Guinea. There were no injuries!
The cause of the fire is unknown. The fire started in one unit of a triplex, and quickly spread to the other two units. Two small temporary buildings were also destroyed. The units are all occupied by staff members of Nazarene Hospital. No one was in any of the units at the time; the children were all in school, the adults apparently at work.
All three families lost most of their possessions, though quick-acting neighbors and passers-by were able to get some items out of the second and third units before they caught fire. Many hospital staff members, neighbors, passers-by and missionaries rushed to the scene intending to help, but there was little that could be done.
The fire is not believed to be related to the current drought in PNG. The building had a steel roof. Kudjip station has had several minor grass fires in the past weeks, due to the dry conditions, but the house fire appeared to have erupted within the house. No other buildings were threatened.
The house was in an area known as “Airstrip”, an allusion to the runway that was located there in the early days of the mission work at Kudjip. It is occupied primarily by hospital staff. No missionary homes are located in that area.
Co-workers, neighbors and missionaries have come to the aid of the three families. Nazarene Health Ministries has provided them with alternative housing and emergency funds. There have been donations of clothing, food, money, and other essentials.
The residents of the units include 2 CHWs (Community Health Workers, similar to a Certified Nurse Aid in the US), and the Medical Records officer. All are long-term members of the staff.
Kudjip Station is the location of Nazarene Hospital, Nazarene College of Nursing, and the offices of the Melanesia/South Pacific Field of the Church of the Nazarene.
We praise God that there was no loss of life, nor injuries. Please pray for the families affected. We also request prayer for rain, as drought conditions here are creating hardships for everyone on the station.