Fire damages container storing campaign T-shirts

Shirts burn, arson alledged

A container holding boxes of T-shirts for a campaign committee was found on fire in Pago Pago early yesterday morning, and is reportedly being investigated as an arson case by the Department of Public Safety.

Found in the container were two medium sized gas tanks, tools, toilet paper rolls, and other miscellaneous items, including numerous boxes with T-Shirts for the campaign committee supporting Faoa and Taufete’e for Governor and Lt. Governor.

According to police some of the T-shirt boxes in the container were saved by the efforts of fire fighters who responded to the call.

The investigating police officers said luckily the fire was extinguished before it reached the gas tanks, or this would have been a disaster for homes nearby.

According to the Department of Public Safety, they received a call from someone who was heading to work that a container was on fire, in the early hours.

The container is owned by Samsung Air Con H&H Inc., a local company, and is located in Pago Pago village.

Around 6:00 a.m. yesterday, Samoa News visited the scene while police officers were conducting their investigation.  One of the owners of the company, Mr. Heo, was also present.

Samoa News saw the lock on the container was dismantled and it was found not far from the container.

Captain Tulele Laolagi with the Marine Patrol Division, who also responded to the call, was among the police officers at the scene. After the fire was put out, he instructed employees of the Samsung Air Con H7H Inc to clear up the area and lock the container while waiting for members of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Heo showed Samoa News the video surveillance, which showed the incident occurred at approximately 4:00 a.m., but the disappointed Heo said the surveillance camera that is outside the warehouse where the container is located was damaged before the fire was set and therefore he was not able to identify who did this. 

He told Samoa News that around 4:31 a.m. the fire truck arrived at the scene.

Heo told Samoa News that he trusts his employees and has disputed allegations that the fire was an inside job. He declined further comment on this matter and said he’ll be waiting for the police investigation.

Samoa News also asked police if all items in the container were targeted, or if it looked like burning the boxes of campaign T-shirts was the focus of the alleged arson. DPS investigators declined to comment, saying only that they are continuing to look into the matter.

(The Samoan version of this story, “Saili e leoleo i latou na susunuina se ‘container’ i Pago Pago”, is published in today’s Samoa News, and can be found on samoanews.com.)


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