4 fires in 1 hour-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
BAGUIO firemen were able to immediately contain at least four fire incidents that simultaneously happened in different parts of the city early Tuesday morning.
Fire incidents were reported around 7:35 a.m. at Leonila Hill, 8:00 a.m. along Gibraltar Street, 8:30 a.m. along Marcos Highway and 8:35 a.m. in front of Tepeyac Hotel in Pacdal.
Baguio Fire Marshal Joe Fernand Bangyod said the structural fire reported at Leonila Hill and grass fires in Marcos Highway and Pacdal were immediately contained and investigation showed only minimal damage.
The fire that broke out at Gibraltar Street reached the third alarm and gutted four houses, partially damaged one house and radiated some four other houses in the area.
Radiated houses, he said, were immediately hosed down with water to avoid combustible materials from burning or igniting.
Initial investigations from the fire department revealed the fire started at the kitchen of the Soriano family and quickly spread to adjacent houses within the compound.
Bangyod said they were able to contain the fire five minutes after they responded in the area.
The fire chief reported houses, which are situated in the burning compound, were made of combustible materials that easily caught fire.
Another house also contained stored flammable chemicals, which easily burned up during the fire.
Parked vehicles near the burning houses also caused delays during fire fighting operations, he said.
The Baguio Fire Department used at least nine hoses attached to their fire truck, with the assistance of other fire brigades based in nearby towns, private volunteer fire brigades and water delivery trucks that provided continuous water supply, helped restrain the blaze from further burning other houses in the area.
He said they have been clustering barangays and assigning a specific fire truck engine to respond in case of fire.
This way, he explained, the fire department is able to respond to simultaneous fire incidents without leaving other areas vulnerable.
"Four fires happening within the day and in just one hour is a rarity but it happens," he said.
As standard operating procedure, the fire chief said they will not disclose the total cost of damages until they are done with investigations and after assessment and reporting of damages by affected home owners.
The city fire marshal added this month alone already recorded four grass fires in the city. He said dry leaves and forested areas that remain parched due to several rainless days will easily be ignited by disposed lighted cigarettes.
He advised the public, especially as the summer season nears, to immediately report grass fires that may grow uncontrollably and result to burning of nearby properties. (JM Agreda)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 06, 2013.