BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
An overheated electrical installation triggered the afternoon fire in Purok Neptune, Brgy. Singcang Airport in Bacolod City Monday that destroyed 47 houses and damaged eight others.
But Chief Insp. Rodel Legaspi, Bacolod fire marshal, said that they are yet to pinpoint which particular electrical installation in the house owned by the Pestano family where the fire originated.
Earlier, Pancho Pestano, owner of the house, told the DAILY STAR that he was sleeping when he heard a “bang” and woke up to billowing smoke. He said that he tried to turn off the main electrical switch but he was almost electrocuted.
P400,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE
Based on the investigation conducted by the Bureau of Fire Protection, the fire destroyed about P400,000 worth of properties.
Aside from a resident, who was treated for minor injuries, there was no reported casualty from the fire that lasted for almost an hour. Only a Shih Tzu dog perished from the blaze after its owner failed to rescue it from their burning house.
Since the fire happened, aid continued to pour in for residents who were affected and are temporarily being sheltered at the covered court of the Ramon Torres Elementary School in Sitio Magsungay, Brgy. Singcang.
A report from the City Social Welfare and Development showed that the fire left 62 families, or 259 individuals, homeless, with 100 of them children. The CSWD office has already extended help to the fire victims by giving them food packs, hygiene kits, and other supplies.
Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia immediately instructed executive assistant Jose Maria Vargas of the City Risk Reduction Management Office to provide swift response and services to displaced families
Councilor Lady Glez Gonzales-Pallen, who is the head of the Liga ng mga Barangay, provided 20 modular tents for the victims while Singcang Captain Rosenie Distrito, Congressman Greg Gasataya, and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran also provided food packs and other necessities.
Meanwhile, fire also hit several houses in Purok Mahinangpanon, Brgy. 23, Bacolod City at about 5 p.m. yesterday.
The fire gutted the houses of Gingging Labiogo, Elsa Valera, and Rodjhun Cervales and portion of the residence of Freddie Bahil. Legaspi said they are yet to determine the cause of the fire and the amount of damage. It was put out at about 5:22 p.m. with no casualty reported.*