A MAN was burned to death while two others were injured in a fire that hit 31 houses at Purok Langis, Barangay Banago in Bacolod City on Thursday dawn, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.
Senior Fire Officer 3 Marc Stephen Trajeras, chief investigator of BFP, said the fire started around 1:30 a.m. from the house of Lorenza Tella-in, 79.
The fatality was identified as Roland Embediado, 40.
Embediado, who was suffering from epilepsy, attempted to help some of his neighbors, but when he returned to his house he was trapped.
His mother Angelina Embediado, 75, said she is now alone because her son was her only companion. Their house was destroyed and none of her belongings were saved, she added.
Injured were Randy Barroquiña and his wife Flordeleza, both 43 years old.
The Barroquiña couple sustained minor burns after they tried to save some of their belongings. They are now in stable condition.
Investigation showed the fire started at Tella-in’s living room where a lighted candle was left unattended.
Banago village chieftain Arnel Benjamin said at about 4 p.m. Tuesday the area experienced power interruption, and he believes the Tella-in family failed to put out the lighted candle before they went to sleep.
Trajeras said the fire destroyed 26 houses and damaged five others. A total of 123 families, along with four sharers, were affected.
He said the fire spread quickly as the adjacent houses were made of light of materials.
Several fire trucks from neighboring towns and cities responded but firefighters had difficulty penetrating the area because of the narrow pathways.
Trajeras said the blaze, which damaged about P700,000 in properties, was put out at 3:25 a.m.
The affected residents were evacuated to a day care center.
Benjamin said they already received donations from the City Government for the needs of the affected families. The relief goods included food, medicines, and beddings.
The affected families also received construction materials from the office of Abang Lingkod partylist Representative Stephen Paduano.
Benjamin said they have yet to determine how much financial assistance they can give to those affected.
In March this year, a fire also hit Purok Riverside in Barangay Banago where 175 houses were destroyed.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia said they are mulling to increase the financial assistance for the fire victims – from P5,000 to P10,000 for those with destroyed houses, and P5,000 for residents with damaged houses instead of P3,000 only.
He added that they will provide a relocation site for the affected families who are willing to be relocated. (Sun.Star Bacolod)