Garapan building goes up in flames


Two fire trucks on scene as well as dozens of firefighters respond to the structure fire at an abandoned building in the heart of Garapan yesterday afternoon. (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

A structure fire completely burned the inside of an abandoned building in the heart of Garapan yesterday afternoon, and it remains unknown yet what started the blaze.

At around 1pm yesterday afternoon, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to a structure fire at the former Mom’s Round Two bar and grill.

At the scene, Saipan Tribune observed two fire trucks on scene responding to the fire as well as dozens of firefighters.

Saipan Tribune also observed the entire road from the Elegance Café down to Monster Pizza was closed off by police, causing heavy traffic in the area.

Meanwhile, firefighters worked to extinguish the fire while also ensuring it was cut off from nearby vegetation and structures. The fire died down in just a few minutes at around 1:40pm.

DFEMS has yet to issue an official report of the incident.

According to the man who called dispatch for assistance, the fire began after a known homeless man came walking out of the abandoned building.

DFEMS has yet to confirm whether the fire was intentional or if it was an accident.

The man who called dispatch told Saipan Tribune that he was at the nearby carwash when he noticed the known homeless man enter the abandoned building.

The witness stated that he immediately took out his phone to record a video. In the video that he showed fire investigators, the man he claims could have started the fire was seen leaving the building as flames started to erupt.

The witness stated that he immediately yelled at the suspect, who rapidly walked away once he noticed the man taking a video of him.

Another witness who works at a nearby establishment stated the homeless man is known to cause trouble in the village, but he has never heard of him committing crimes as serious as arson.

He stated he was startled when he started to smell smoke in his office, which led him to go outside to find out what was going on. When he came out, he was shocked to see that the abandoned building was in flames, and with dark, heavy smoke clouding the air.

He said he called 911 and was told someone had already called in the fire and that help was on the way.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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
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