Public Health looking for new office space; assures no disruption in services

Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Linda DeNorcey is looking for new office space for DPHSS.

Department of Public Health and Social Services Director Linda DeNorcey and her staff are scrambling to find new office space after the Guam Fire Department found the DPHSS building in Mangilao to be a fire hazard and ordered it shut down, at least temporarily.

It started with an apparent electrical fire Tuesday night near the height of Tropical Storm Kummari’s passage to the south of the island.

Security staff at the DPHSS building in Mangilao noticed smoke coming from the building and the Guam Fire Department was called to the scene at about 11:15 p.m. A Guam Power Authority crew shut down power to the facility.

When firemen entered there was already smoke throughout the building, said GFD spokesman Kevin Reilly. However, they could find no evidence of fire.

The fumes were vented and an inspection of the electrical system was launched.

“Investigators were unable to locate the point of origin,” according to a statement issued by Deputy Fire Chief Joey San Nicolas on Wednesday afternoon. However “other electrical hazards were found, and a notice to cease operations was issued until the hazards are corrected.”

Public health director Linda DeNorcey spent much of yesterday looking for new office space.

“So what we’re doing right now is I’m at one of the locations that we’re going to occupy. We’re taking a look at several places and we’re trying to make the move as quickly as possible,” DeNorcey said.

When PNC asked whether she expects a delay or disruption in services to the public, DeNorcey answered: “We’re trying not to. In terms of the services some of them are condensing with the northern and southern.”

She added: “And then the vital statistics is where our concern is so that we can get all the records moved and get them operational.”

The first priority for the department is the preservation of vital statistics, according to the statement from Governor Lou Leon Guerrero who declared a State of Emergency for the department. The declaration freed up $250,000 to help cover the costs of the move and to provide funds to lease new office space.

DeNorcey says that once new locations are identified and services become available, the public will be notified immediately.