Investigators probe ‘worst fire in Guam history’ that claimed the lives of 5 children
The children who perished in the fire were between the ages of 2 to 14, according to the father of the children, Rino Nathan.
Guam Fire Department Chief Joey San Nicolas says this fire has been classified as catastrophic by the National Fire Protection Association.
“It’s a very catastrophic fire that occurred last night with the death of 5 minors. It is currently under investigation so all the information has yet to be released at this time,” he says. [restrict]
At the scene last night, we spoke with Guam Fire Spokesperson Kevin Reilly who gave us more details about the tragic event.
“Shortly before 11 o’clock, at 2300 hours … our units were dispatched to a possible structure fire along this road here in Ge’halom in Yigo,” says Reilly. “We had unknown amount of occupants in the structure, according to someone this is between 8 and 10, we’re still not 100 percent clear on how many people were living here. However we do know that three people had escaped and we do have five fatalities at this time.”
According to Guam Police Department Spokeswoman Capt. Kim Santos GPD’s Criminal Investigation Section is also conducting its own investigation.
Santos says when firefighters arrived on scene last night on Ge’Halom Street, they were notified by neighbors that there may be people inside. They turned out to be all minors and according to Santos, the parents were not home at the time the fire broke out.
“Our units did respond from Yigo, Dededo and Astumbo fire stations as well as our rescue units responded to extinguish the fire and search and locate the five minors inside the structure,” says San Nicolas.
We spoke to the father of the children, Rino Nathan. He was too distraught to go on camera but he did tell us that his eight children were inside the structure and that three were able to escape.
His five other children who weren’t able to make it out in time, he says, were ages 2, 4, 7, 12 and 14. The three children who escaped, a 6-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old female, were taken to GRMC, according to GRMC Spokesperson Kevin Kerrigan. They were assessed but were released with no injuries.
Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola is current off-island and will not be returning until next week Monday, October 3, at which time he will perform the autopsies on the five children to determine the cause of death. Published in Guam News [/restrict]