3rd fire engulfs former carwash

Posted on Nov 19 2011
By Ferdie de la Torre

A blaze engulfed an unoccupied commercial building across Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Chalan Kanoa Thursday night-the third fire to break out that same day.

No one was reported injured in the fire that razed the interior of a one-story concrete building owned by Niizeki International Saipan Co. Ltd.

Firefighters controlled the blaze after an hour.

The Department of Public Safety has yet to release information about the fire.

Sources said investigators are looking into the possibility that the fires at the Niizeki building and at the former Stardust Night Club, both located in Chalan Kanoa, were intentionally set off.

Saipan Tribune learned that the fire started around 8pm inside the building previously occupied by the Wonderful Car Wash, located along Beach Road corner Hagui Road.

Jang Jin-hyung, owner of Sign & Sign, said he was working inside his shop when he heard an explosion outside.

Jin-hyung thought that somebody had thrown an object at his shop so he opened the door but did not see anybody. Instead, he noticed black smoke coming out from the former Wonderful Car Wash located in front of his shop.

Jin-hyung said he immediately called 911.

“I could feel [the fire from my office]. It’s too hot!” Jin-hyung said.

Yoshiharu Suzuki, operations manager of Niizeki International Saipan, said he learned about the fire only yesterday morning.

Suzuki said that Wonderful Car Wash shut down after its two-year contract expired in August.

The first fire on Thursday broke out in San Antonio around 7:45am, razing to the ground three houses and one store.

As firefighters were clearing up between 9:30am and 10am, another fire occurred at the former Stardust Nightclub in Chalan Kanoa-Chalan Piao area. No one was injured in both incidents.

Residents in the area said two beggars have been staying in the abandoned building for many months now. They were not seen at the scene when the fire broke out.

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