Fire hits Gualo Rai house; possible arson eyed


A fire, believed to have been intentionally set off, broke out at a two-story concrete house in Gualo Rai on Friday shortly before midnight.

No one was reported injured in the blaze, according to Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Service spokesman Derek Gersonde.

Gersonde said the cause of the fire was found to be the burning of boxes and clothing, which suggest intentional action.

“Further investigation is warranted,” he said.

The house had moderate heat and smoke damage in the kitchen and living room.

Gersonde said that DFEMS received a call on Friday at 11:38pm from the Department of Public Safety 911 dispatch about a fire south of the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc. office and the former Eucon International School dormitory.

Upon arrival of firefighters from Garapan, a firefighter reported that bystanders had used three fire extinguishers to stamp out the blaze.

Initial investigation showed that the fire was isolated to the second floor of the eastern room of the building.

Gersonde said investigation showed two points of origin of the fire: one at the eastern side of kitchen underneath the cabinet and kitchen counter and the other at the western side of the kitchen near the restroom and bedroom doors.

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

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