DFEMS probes Gualo Rai fire


Investigators are still looking into the cause of a fire that gutted a house across the New XO Market in Gualo Rai on Wednesday morning.

In its report released Wednesday night, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services said their scene investigation revealed that the fire started at the eastern side of the house. It then traveled south and spread to all the combustible materials in the house, the agency said.

The fire engulfed the one-story house, which then collapsed. The structure was made of light materials.

DFEMS said they received the call about the fire at 9:12am and firefighters/medics from Susupe and Garapan fire stations immediately responded.

DFEMS said the fire was placed under control at 9:36am.

No one was injured during the blaze.

Victoria Catbagan, 53, and her common-law husband, Romeo Tajan, 59, were both working at the New XO Market when the fire occurred. The couple’s money and all their belongings, including a Mitsubishi Mirage 1996, turned into ash.

The couple suspects that somebody burglarized the house and intentionally set it on fire.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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