THE Bureau of Fire Protection Davao Region reported 384 fire incidents within the region, up by 34 percent on the same period last year with a total damages amounting to P424,150,600 based on submitted affidavits of loss.

Of the 384, 169 of these occurred in Davao City alone, up by 52 incidents from last year's statistics.

"The biggest fire incident that occurred this year was the one in Piapi," FCI Nestor Jimenez said Monday.

"However, that fire was only accidental," he added. The said incident, which occurred last April 4 this year, was caused by an unattended light candle of a resident in Isla Verde Barangay 23-C and affected Barangays 22-C and 21-C as well.

While fire incidents can be triggered for various reasons, Jimenez warned that butane canisters refilled with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is highly dangerous and more likely to cause an explosion since these canisters are not designed and suited to LPG gas pressures.

"Gasoline stations are also not allowed to refill gas tanks," Jimenez added.

While there are no ordinances implemented in the region against illegal gas refilling, the Bureau of Fire Protection strongly advises the public not to have their tanks refilled by those who are unauthorized to do so to prevent fire incidents. (Jeffer Joy Orteza, AdDU Intern)