AN ELDERLY man died in a fire that destroyed a total of 22 houses and damaged four others in Bacolod City on Wednesday, March 8.
The first incident happened at Purok Hollowblocks in Barangay Singcang-Airport, wherein an 80-year-old was trapped inside his house when the fire broke out at 12:30 a.m.
Chief Inspector Publio Doctora Ploteña, fire marshal of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Bacolod, identified the fatality as Edison Hojilla.
Ploteña said the fire started from Hojilla's kitchen due to an unattended embers.
The fire immediately spread to the houses of his son Jerson, and relatives Erlinda and Rica Aguilar. Their houses were also made of light materials.
Hojilla went back inside his house to probably check if his wife Evelyn, 73, was still inside, however, he got trapped by the blaze.
His wife was able to get out of their house, and was brought to a hospital after she suffered difficulty of breathing.
Ploteña said the fire was put out at 1:06 a.m. It yielded an estimated damage of P80,000.
Thirteen hours later, another fire broke out at Purok Sto. Niño in Barangay Sum-ag at 1:20 p.m. destroying 18 houses and damaged four others.
Ploteña said the fire started from the second floor of Ernilo Daniel Oñate's house due to faulty electrical wiring.
The fire was raised to third alarm, wherein fire stations in Bago City, Valladolid and Murcia towns also responded.
It was declared fire out at 2:05 p.m.
Ploteña said the fire left an estimated damage of P150,000 to properties.
No casualties were reported.
Ploteña said four residential fire incidents were recorded since the Fire Prevention Month kicked off on March 1. He also said that there were several reports of grassfires since last week, as summer is now approaching.
Ploteña said the BFP continuously reminds the public about fire safety and prevention since March has the most number of recorded fire incidents.
He urged the public to always check the electrical connections, appliances, and any other gadgets that could be the cause of fire-related incidents.
He also advised the public to unplug unused appliances and to keep away candles and matches from children.
The City Government of Bacolod has already extended financial assistance to the affected families of the fire in Barangay Singcang-Airport.
Pacita Tero, head of Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) said Wednesday the four affected families will receive P10,000 each.
They also provided them with rice and canned goods, but they still need more assistance like clothes, foods, kitchen utensils and personal care items to sustain the needs of the affected families.
Tero said the affected families refused to vacate their place and insisted to rebuild their houses in the area.