THE raging fire that burned the million dollar coconut oil mill of Granexport Manufacturing Corporation (Granex) in Barangay Kiwalan, Iligan city, on Monday is now under control.
Chief Inspector Richard Arbutante of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) in Northern Mindanao, however, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that declaring a fire out is not yet possible at press time but it is under control.
“Didto man gyud ko sa area for two days kay usa man pud ko sa nag-lead sa pagpalong sa kalayo, as of now gasiga pa gihapon but our focus sa pagka karon is more on firefighting (I was there at the fire scene for two days as I was one of those who led in containing the fire. As of now, it’s still burning and our focus now is more on fire fighting yet),” Arbutante said.
He also said that hopefully a fire out will be declared anytime Saturday.
At least 26 fire trucks were deployed in the area including those from Iligan City, Lanao, Tangub fire station as well volunteers from Cagayan de Oro like Graphic, Gaisano-Iligan, National Power Corporation, Holcim cement plant, among others.
“Dili gyud madali kay base sa taga Iligan nga 90,000 metric tons nga kopras ang nasunog, in fact, gigamit na namo tanan techniques nga among na-learn but to no avail (Putting out the fire was not easy since it was reported that around 90,000 metric tons of copra are blazing, in fact, we have employed all firefighting techniques that we have learned but it was to no avail),” Arbutante said.
“Ang gihimo nalang namo karon mao ang ‘control burning,’ pasagdan nga masunog but at the same time i-control nga dili modako ang kalayo (What we are instead doing now is ‘control burning,’ wherein we let the fire burn but at the same time control it so that it won’t spread),” Arbutante said.
Apart from these strategies, fire fighters have to slowly haul the piles of unburned copra away from the fire, he added.
Arbutante said that the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage could not be determined yet.
Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro tried to get comments from the Granex management but Hector Arroyo, marketing manager of Silahis group which is one of the Granex owned companies, said an official statement will be out next week. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)