17 Sep 2009

Cause of Samoa hotel fire unknown

7:46 pm on 17 September 2009

Iconic fales at the Tanoa Tusitala hotel in Samoa have been destroyed in a fire.

The hotel in Apia had been closed for renovations after being taken over earlier this year by Fiji's YP Reddy Group.

It was due to re-open in November.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says police and the fire service are still investigating the cause of the blaze.

"I spoke to a senior officer of the hotel management and he was saying something about some suspicion of electrical fault that caused the fire but at the moment we can't tell that because the police and fire people are investigating the cause."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the fales at the hotel, which for years had been important meeting places in Apia, had been considered icons in Samoa.

The guest rooms at the hotel were not greatly affected by the blaze.