WITHIN less than a week, Davao City was struck with two big fires in two different coastal areas.
On August 16, some 150 structures were burned down by a massive fire that hit puroks 2 and 3, Isla Verde, Barangay 23-C, Davao City. On Thursday, over 130 structures were burned down in Punta Dumalag, Barangay Matina Aplaya.
When SunStar Davao checked with the Bureau of Fire Protection, large fires have somehow frequented Isla Verde, Barangay 23-C. Data from the agency showed that there have been five fire incidents in the area in the last ten years with almost P20 million worth of damage.
Senior Fire Officer 2 Ramil Gillado, investigation section chief of BFP-Davao, said causes of fire in Isla Verde are mainly caused by electrical short circuits and unattended candles.
Gillado said the people in the area live mostly in houses built using light materials and they would tap on to electrical wires of neighboring homes for electricity. Others who do not have electricity would use a candle or lamp to light their homes.
On top of that, during fire response, BFP personnel continue to experience other challenges in extinguishing the fire not only in the areas mentioned earlier but also in some places in Davao City. Among those problems are the narrow streets in some areas that hinder fire trucks from entering the area where the fire is. It can also be recalled there have been a couple of instances where firemen have been attacked while responding to fire.
There is still a lot to be done in terms of preparedness when it comes to fire in the city.
In preparing the communities, BFP has its Oplan Ligtas Pamayanan, a program that seeks to capacitate barangays in identifying possible problems firemen may encounter during an emergency. Likewise, it can be assumed that they have continued doing their campaign on fire preparedness.
As suggested by our columnist, Danilo Abrigo, the BFP might want to look into new technologies in terms of fighting fires in an urban setting.
In a way, the barangay plays a role in preparing the community should a fire hit their area. It must do everything in its power to ensure that in case there is an emergency, responders can efficiently and smoothly enter the area to extinguish the fire.
For us the general public, we should also be mindful of our actions. For example, before leaving the house, let us make sure that all electrical appliances have been unplugged or the lights have been turned off. If we light a candle, let us make sure that it is not left unattended.
Fire incidents are dangerous and can lead to devastating disasters. However, by being prepared and watching our actions, we may prevent massive fires from happening.