Fire engulfs IPI warehouse

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A trash fire that went out of control engulfed a large portion of the Imperial Pacific international LLC warehouse in Lower Base over the weekend. The fire started Friday evening, June 12, 2020, and was contained on Saturday at 8:15am. (KRIZEL TUAZON)

A trash fire that went out of control engulfed a large portion of the Imperial Pacific international LLC warehouse in Lower Base over the weekend. The fire became so big that the place was still emitting smoke a day later.

According to Derric Gersonde, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesperson, it started as a trash fire that rapidly spread to the IPI warehouse—a three-story concrete Building—and the fire’s area of origin was traced to its north end. The fire moved up the north end of the warehouse and fully engulfed the third floor before making its way to the second floor at the southern end where the fire was eventually contained.

Individuals who lived near the area told Saipan Tribune that the fire started late afternoon on Friday and continued to burn until Saturday afternoon.

In a statement it issued later, DFEMS said that Dispatch received a call at around 4:58pm last Friday, reporting a fire at the IPI warehouse in Lower Base. Two minutes later, at 5pm, firefighters and medics from the Garapan Fire Station, Kagman Fire Station, and Susupe Fire Station raced to the site, with the first unit arriving at the scene at 5:05pm. It was personnel from the Garapan Fire Station that opened the locked gate and confirmed that the trash fire had spread to the warehouse. It took the firefighters about 15 hours to stop the blaze. The fire was reportedly contained on Saturday at 8:15am. No persons were injured and no treatment was provided at the scene for medical complaints related to the fire.

As of 1pm yesterday, DFEMS Fire Investigators were still processing the scene for the cause of the fire and DFEMS personnel were still “overhauling” the scene. That means opening walls, ceilings, voids, and partitions to check for fire extension in both the pre-control and post-control phases of firefighting operations

As for the human remains that were dug up from the casino worksite in Garapan and stored at an IPI warehouse, it was learned that the bones are stored in a different warehouse.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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