IPI tightens security at casino site


Following a fire the broke out behind the Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC hotel and casino construction site in Garapan, the casino investor has opted to tighten security in the area.

Last June 9, the District Court for the NMI ordered IPI to provide a report regarding the status of security at the Imperial Pacific Resort and Casino and the fire that broke out at the site on June 6.

According to a notice filed by IPI attorneys Joey San Nicolas and Kevin Abikoff last Friday, prior to the fire, IPI had a security checkpoint at the front entrance to the IPR building that was manned full-time—24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, the rear entrance to the IPR site was previously manned on a part-time schedule.

“On the weekend prior to the fire, IPI had a security officer assigned to the rear entrance from 11pm to 7am Friday–Sunday,” the attorneys reported.

Now, following the fire, IPI has security personnel manning both the front and back entrances to the IPR site on a full-time basis.

“All entrances to the casino building are either locked or manned, full-time, by IPI security personnel,” the notice stated.

The lawyers also gave the court insight on the fire itself.

IPI reported that a fire broke out on June 6 in the rear construction yard adjacent to the back entrance to the IPR site.

The fire appeared to have begun sometime between 10:24am and 10:55am, when the security supervisor identified smoke from the construction yard and contacted a Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services firefighter who had already responded to the scene due to reports of smoke near Garapan.

“At this time, IPI is unaware of the cause of the fire. IPI has requested an incident report from [DFEMS] but has not yet received that report. [DFEMS] arrived at the IPR site at approximately 10:55am, at which time IPI’s security supervisor instructed them to break a padlock securing IPI’s rear entrance in order to quickly gain access to the construction yard. Fire Department personnel entered the construction yard and quickly extinguished the fire. Fire Department personnel then conducted a site assessment before departing the IPR site at 12:02pm. The fire was concentrated on the east side of the rear construction yard, near where construction materials are stacked, including spools of electrical wires, waterproofing membranes, decorative metal frames, stones, steel wires, and glassfibre reinforced concrete panels. Some of these construction materials, particularly the waterproofing membranes, suffered extensive heat damage,” the lawyers said.

Fortunately, there was no damage to the IPR structure or to any materials contained inside the casino site, they added.

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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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