Grieving dad says tragic fire a blessing in disguise

Taukinukufili Taufa lost members of his family in a house fire in Brisbane. Photo / Supplied
Taukinukufili Taufa lost members of his family in a house fire in Brisbane. Photo / Supplied

A man whose family died in Brisbane's worst house fire believes the tragedy is a blessing in disguise because it will attract more followers to his church.

Taukinukufili Taufa ran the Church of Baptism with Fire & Holy Spirit out of the Brisbane house which caught fire last month.

The blaze killed Mr Taufa's wife, daughter and three of his grandchildren as well as six other extended family members.

Mr Taufa said God speaks to him directly and he believes in baptism through "heavenly fire".

"God showed me how to do it, baptise people in the fire of the Holy Spirit. This is not bad after all, it's a blessing in disguise," he told Close Up.

Three years ago, Mr Taufa set up the firepurifications.webs.com website where he wrote that "we must be baptised in fire".

The 66-year-old said the fire and the loss of 11 of his family members was not a terrible coincidence.

"It is only a terrible coincidence if you don't know what the difference is ... explain to the people how to find, how to differentiate."

Jeremy Lale and his family had been staying with Mr Taufa for two months and were to move out of the home the day after the blaze - but he lost his wife and five children the night of the fire.

But Mr Taufa said the Lale family "came here at the right time".

"They [were] included in the people that God chose to become his people in heaven," he said.

Mr Taufa said he would build another home on the property and hoped more people would be attracted to his church.

"I know it's going to be a tourist resort in the future because people in the world heard about it. They will try to come and have a look."

Australian police told Close Up they were waiting for results on the cause of the fire but believed it was "just a tragic event".

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