P1.3-M worth of property lost in blaze

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Friday, February 28, 2014


TEN houses were razed while three other structures were partially damaged in a fire that hit a slum area around 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Barangay San Antonio in Iloilo City’s Molo District.

Reports said the fire originated from the house of Jose Torres and rapidly spread to the neighboring houses mostly made of mixed and light materials before the fire truck from nearby Molo Fire Station arrived to put out the blaze.

City and other district fire trucks in the metropolis and Federation fire volunteer brigade from the Filipino-Chinese community also joined the fray and battled the fire, preventing its further spread in the slum area.

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The combined firefighters put out the blaze for more than half an hour, after which mopping up operation followed.

Damage to property lost in the fire was pegged at P1.3 million.

Among the destroyed houses were those owned by Ernesto Torres where the fire originated, Jose Torres, Nenita Saluba, Dominador Saluba, Cerilo Saluba, Satore Elarmo, Valentina Pagayon, Sonny Avelino and Violeta Edanio. Residential houses owned by Susan Casiquete, Pastor Paspacial and Marilou Miranda were also hit.

City fire marshal Superintendent Jerry Candido said that based on findings of arson investigators, the fire was triggered by an electrical short circuit inside the room located at the upper floor of the Torres’ residence.

Probers said the room occupied by Torres’s daughter Gina has so many appliances notwithstanding the use of almost three-decades-old electrical wirings and substandard extension wire that caused overloading of the electrical line that ultimately resulted in an electrical short circuit, which triggered the fire.

So far, no casualties were reported apart from Gina’s three-year-old son Justin Carl Torres and her elder sibling who were nearly trapped amid the fire but the duo managed to jump out from the upper room to safety.

The younger Torres sustained minor burns on his forearm, wherein he was immediately given appropriate medical treatment by barangay health workers.

Meanwhile, Merilyn Jison of the Iloilo City Social Welfare and Development Office immediately extended emergency assistance to fire victims who temporarily took shelter at the Barangay Hall and Day Care Center in the barangay as temporary evacuation center.

The Molo fire happened as the city of Iloilo braces for the yearly observance of the Fire Prevention Month in March this year. (PNA)

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