A fire of unknown cause burned a semi-concrete apartment on Tupak Street corner Tokcha Avenue in Susupe, displacing several, mostly construction workers, on Thursday afternoon.
No one was reported injured in the blaze or was given treatment for medical complaints, according to Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde.
Some residents told Saipan Tribune that the blaze wouldn’t have engulfed the entire apartment if firefighters immediately sprayed water onto the affected unit.
“Two fire trucks came, but there was no water,” a resident said.
A neighbor said they first noticed smoke coming out of one of the apartment units in the back, but they thought it was only rain.
Neighbors said most of those who occupy the apartment are Filipino construction workers who weren’t able to save any of their belongings as they were either at work or on their way home when the fire broke out.
A certain Josie owns or manages the apartment unit, some residents said.
Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from transferring to two to three adjacent houses.
DFEMS first received a report about a structure fire in Susupe at 5:23pm and firefighters and all other on-duty personnel from Susupe, Garapan, and Kagman fire stations responded to the scene.
The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. then came and shut the power and activated the hydrants in the area. The Commonwealth Ports Authority-Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Unit assisted with the use of their water tanker. American Red Cross personnel assisted the affected families.
DFEMS spokesman Gersonde said firefighters controlled the blaze at 6:33pm.
Gersonde said preliminary investigation conducted by arson investigators revealed that the structure was a semi-concrete dwelling with 12 rooms, 10 of them occupied.
Gersonde said the scene has been secured to allow arson investigators to process the scene in the morning under better lighting conditions.
“Updates will be released when they are available,” he said.