FIRES killed 34 persons in Central Visayas last year, which was 466.67 percent more than the six deaths in 2015.
The fatal fires last year hit the cities of Carcar, Cebu, Toledo, Naga, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue, and in the towns of Minglanilla, Dalaguete, and Barili in Cebu; and Inabanga, Bilar, and Ubay in Bohol Province.
In Cebu City, 27 persons were killed in 2016, seven of whom died in Barangay Pahina Central last May 7, according to the statistics released by the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP)-Central Visayas.
Three fatalities were recorded in January last year; two in February; three in March; three in April; five in June; one in July; one in August; three in September; three in October; two in November; and one in December.
There were 44 injuries recorded last year, an increase by 7.32 percent from 41 in 2015.
Electrical connection problems were the common cause of fires in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor in the past two years, the BFP-Central Visayas said.
The regional fire department recorded 244 fires in 2016, a 34.76 percent decrease from the 374 in 2015.
On the first day of Fire Prevention Month yesterday morning, a fire damaged a house on A. Lopez St., Cebu City. Firefighters put out the flames, saving other houses in the neighborhood.
Senior Superintendent Samuel Tadeo, BFP-Central Visayas director, urged homeowners to hire professional electricians. He also advised them to avoid octopus connections, which can cause electrical overloading when several devices are plugged into an extension wire socket.
The official hopes for fewer fires this March.
Statistics showed that 104 fires in 2016 were caused by match sticks or embers and 71 were triggered by cigarette butts or unused tires in the same period.
The largest fire happened in Zone 3, Mantuyong, Mandaue City on March 12, 2016.An unattended kerosene lamp caused the blaze, which destroyed P7 million worth of properties.
Residential areas were hit by fire 418 times last year.
In Cebu Province, there were no fire stations in the towns of Alcantara, Alcoy, Alegria, Asturias, Badian, Borbon, Catmon, Madridejos, Pilar, Ronda, Santa Fe, Santander, and Tabagon.
Twelve towns in Bohol and one in Siquijor do not have their own fire stations. Ten fire stations in Bohol and two in Siquijor are under construction, with a budget of P31.5 million.
The BFP-Central Visayas has proposed the construction of 13 fire stations in Cebu, Bohol and Siquijor, with a budget of P107.3 million.
The bureau has 131 functional fire trucks and 17 damaged trucks.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2017.
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