House fire claims life of Dededo woman - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

House fire claims life of Dededo woman

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - A Dededo woman is dead as the Guam Fire Department is investigating the cause of a structure fire that fully engulfed a home in the northern village. "I was just talking to her yesterday," said Jason Rivera, "and, you know, we we're smiling and talking and joking and we we're just going do something this weekend.  But I guess it's not going to happen because...she's gone." 

Jason and other members of his family were shocked when they got the call that 39-year-old Debra Ann Rivera, his sister, was inside her Dededo home today at the same time it was on fire. Jason says he rushed his family in the car and sped from Agat, hoping his sister would be alright.

"As soon as I heard the news, I just flew down here as fast as I can - and by the time I got here it was too late already, so there's nothing pretty much I can do," he told KUAM News. "She was sleeping and I think she probably tried to gather her stuff before she tried to come out. It took them a while for the fire department to come, so basically she was burning alive."

Guam Fire Department Spokesperson Specialist Joey San Nicolas says the E-911 call was made about 12:37 this afternoon, and units from the Dededo, Yigo and Astumbo fire stations were all able to respond to the semi-concrete-and-wood-and-tin structure within five minutes.

"Upon first entry, our search units found one victim, a confirmed fatality - a 39-year-old female," San Nicolas confirmed.

The home that was fully engulfed by the fire sits along Batulo Road, which officials had to close off today. San Nicolas says GFD continues to investigate just how the fire was started.  While GFD continues to further investigate the incident, the Guam Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division was also called in to look into the matter, as well.

CID agents were called in to determine if Rivera's death may have been a result of foul play; something that the autopsy will show. Investigators were also donning white hazardous materials-proof gear as they took video of the scene.

For the time being, family members were shocked as they sat across the street from the burnt residence, waiting for some answers.  Said Jason of his late sibling, "She's a very humble person, she's the type that if she had her last dollar she would give it to you and she's a very caring person. It's too bad this thing has to happen."

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