Tonga Police rule out foul play in fatal Vava’u house fire

Further investigations by Tonga Police into the tragic death of Tu’imala Moala in a house fire in Vava’u have concluded it to be an accident.

Police said there was no foul play in the fire on 8 November 2022.

According to Tonga Police Commissioner, Shane McLennan Police gathered 34 witness statements from a range of people including those who worked with Tu’imala as well as her husband.

“There were also eyewitnesses who observed the fire whilst it was happening, and though they had observed it from various distances and angles, the one thing that was apparent was that the husband and a witness were calling out to Tu’imala to jump.”

“They also observed Tu’imala climbing down the roof to the patio on the second level where they noticed she was walking back and forth along the patio, in an attempt to climb over the railings. Unfortunately, she was not successful in getting over the rails,” Police said.

The initial fire investigation by Tonga Fire and Emergency Services (TFES) was unable to be thorough due to bad weather at the time.

Tonga Police acknowledge that there have been various allegations appearing on social media, predominantly on Facebook which were all been considered and subsequently have been disproven. We have exhausted all means at our disposal in investigating what occurred on the morning of 8 November 2022. After reviewing the file by the investigators, as well as the Police Legal Unit oversight, there is nothing that would lead Tonga Police to believe there has been any foul play.

“Before the investigation is finalized, we await the final investigation report from TFES, however, we don’t believe there is anything suspicious that is known at this stage, Police said.