March 7, 2011

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

March 1, 2011 Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM-A fire that was reported to the Pohnpei Department of Public Safety at 8:40 this morning completely incinerated a China Town home belonging to Tasero Ludwig. Two vehicles were also burned out in the inferno.

Pohnpei State Police Chief Joe Roby said that officers arrived on the scene within five minutes of the report. He said that the nearest fire hydrant was not in working condition and that the Department of Public Safety fire truck had to be refilled with water five times as officers worked to battle the blaze. He said that DPS requested the assistance of the Pohnpei Port Authority which sent its two Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting fire trucks and fire fighters to assist in putting out the fire.

The fire occurred in the area next to the Protestant Church just a few dozen yards from the Pohnpei Service Station gas station on the waterfront road. Though the Ludwig home was completely destroyed neither of the houses situated just a few feet away were burned.

Chief Roby said that the fire started when a kerosene stove which was being used for cooking at the house was knocked over which then ignited a container of gasoline that was being stored in the area.

"I'd like to advise the people of Pohnpei to exercise extreme caution when using kerosene stoves for cooking especially when there are other sources of combustion nearby," Chief Roby warned.

"DPS submitted a plan for funding to improve fi re services for Pohnpei some time ago but funding for those plans have not yet been found," said Chief Roby. "We are very serious about improving fire services in Pohnpei.