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Cause of DPS fire not yet confirmed

The DPS Main Central Station in Fagatogo was sealed off with yellow tape and guarded by armed cops yesterday morning, after a fire broke out on the second floor of the building, in the area where the CID unit is housed. Samoa News was unable to confirm why the DOE school lunch truck (pictured) was at the site. [photo: BC]

Yesterday morning, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 — a fire broke out on the second floor of the Department of Public Safety's Fagatogo Central Station, specifically the area that houses the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).

DPS employees said they were called in to come remove their belongings but when they arrived, nobody was allowed to enter the building, as armed cops surrounded the area from the far east end of the Lumana'i Building all the way down to the DPS records office.

The building was cordoned off with yellow tape and an armed cop guarded the parking lot in front of DPS — across from the Territorial Registrar's Office — which was closed off with orange cones.

Tourists that arrived yesterday on board the Emerald Princess cruise ship were only allowed to access the Fagatogo Malae, where local vendors were set up, via the main road/ sidewalk or through the back road in front of ANZ Bank.

It was unknown as of press time what caused the fire, but employees have been told to report to work today, in order to move their belongings and clear out office equipment.

Because the building is so old, there is concern that fumes still lingering in the air from the fire pose a serious health hazard.

Samoa News understands that Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga and Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga were notified of the incident, and they, along with Commissioner Le'i Sonny Thompson and a crew from the Department of Homeland Security were at the scene yesterday morning.

According to reliable sources, as of press time, efforts were being made to forward all emergency 911 calls — which are answered by the dispatch unit housed at the main central station — to the Tafuna substation.

Additionally, lawyers from the Attorney General's Office were contacted about the relocating of evidence from the evidence room to the nearby Lumana'i Building, the former location of Metro Store.

At 1 p.m. yesterday, cops were still seen surrounding the police station. The fire reportedly broke out during the early morning hours.