Fire razes store in North Cotabato-A A +A
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Fire gutted a business establishment in Makilala, North Cotabato, just hours after the New Year's revelry.
George Romano, caretaker of the Immaculate Prints, an internet cafe located just few steps away from the fire station in Makilala town, estimated the damage to some P3 million.
The fire, which occurred around 430 a.m. Tuesday (January 1), also gutted the two-storey house attached to the net café, including the garage.
Romano said he was not certain if firecrackers caused the fire. He was, however, convinced it was not caused by faulty wiring since the fire incident happened at the time there was no electricity in town.
"But whatever caused the fire doesn’t matter to us. What matters to us was that the fire station, which was just few steps away from our house, responded too late to our fire call," Romano said.
Firefighters from Makilala, according to him, arrived 20 minutes after the fire started.
"Every second counts. The fire was getting stronger at that time. The police operatives who are also nearby rushed to the fire station to ask for help. But we were so frustrated because it seems the firemen were also asleep just like everybody else," Romano said.
Romano said they only retrieved from the house their freezer and few appliances.
None among the members of his family was hurt during the fire incident.
In Magpet, also in North Cotabato, two container vans owned by the Magpet Agro-Industrial Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Magirco) were damaged due to fire.
One of the groups that responded to the fire call were volunteers from the 505 Disaster Rescue, Emergencies, Assistance, and Management (Dream), a rescue group based in Kidapawan City and firemen from Bureau of Fire Protection in Kidapawan City.
Meantime, a total of 34 firecracker-related injuries were recorded during the New Year’s revelry in Central Mindanao, an advisory from the Department of Health (DOH) said.
South Cotabato has the most number of injuries with 15; Cotabato City has five; General Santos, two; and the rest from Sultan Kudarat and other areas in Central Mindanao.
Data also showed that 15 of the victims were aged 10 to 15, while the rest were pre-school children and adults.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 03, 2013.