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    Tuesday, October 16, 2018-3:56:51P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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DPS: Police vehicle didn’t have fire extinguisher

THE police vehicle that responded to a vehicular-collision incident at the Quartermaster-Beach Road intersection on Wednesday just before noon did not have a fire extinguisher, according to the Department of Public Safety.

One of the vehicles involved in the incident burst into flames, but the driver managed to escape injury.

A Mitsubishi Lancer burst into flames after colliding with another car at the intersection of Quartermaster Road and Beach Road just before noon, Wednesday. DFEMS photo

According to DPS public information officer Jackie Rae,  Saipan DPS does not have enough fire extinguishers for all its police vehicles.

 In January, the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services donated 30 fire extinguishers to DPS Saipan, 10 to Tinian, and 10 to Rota.

Rae said the fire extinguishers are designed to put out small fires.  But if the car in the recent accident was completely engulfed in flames, she said one extinguisher could not have handled a fire of that size.

 But the 19-year-old driver of the vehicle, a Mitsubishi Lancer, said when the fire started it was relatively small.

 “Yes, that’s what the driver told the officer as well,” Rae said. “But there is response time and, as I just stated, there was no extinguisher in the responding car.”

As for the cause of the vehicular fire, Rae said: “We believe it was electrical.”

 The vehicle that hit the Mitsubishi Lancer was a Mazda 3 driven by a 43-year-old woman with two minor passengers. They were brought to the hospital and released after the attending doctor found no major concerns after they were treated for minor injuries.

A DPS official who declined to be identified told Variety that the police motto is to save life and property.

 “They are required to extinguish fires in car-fire scenarios,” the official said, adding that DPS Saipan has fewer than 30 patrol vehicles.

 In June 2017, a 19-year-old Northern Marianas College student perished inside her vehicle after it crashed into a traffic pole and caught fire. It was reported that when DPS arrived at the crash site, the student’s car was not yet on fire.