Fire hits Orodemar Marine Products Corp. and Ice Plant facility in Barangay Matahimik before 5 a.m. on May 16, 2022.

A marine products and ice plant facility was damaged by a fire that broke out shortly before 5 a.m. this morning, May 16, at the fish port in Barangay Matahimik, Puerto Princesa City.

The city’s Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), headed by fire chief inspector Maj. Nilo Caabay, is still investigating the cause of the fire reported to them by 911 at 5:32 a.m.

He said the fire that hit Orodemar Marine Product Corp. and Ice Plant along Calle Bajo became under control around 6:45 a.m.

“May mga usok pa at apoy, pero safe na hindi na tatawid ang sunog. Ongoing pa ang ating firefight operation, once na natapos na yan, saka tayo magkakalap ng mga information kung may mga nadamay,” Caabay told the local media around 7:05 a.m.

“Kung mapapansin niyo kanina, doon tayo sa likod nag-concentrate kasi ina-avoid natin na umakyat ng Malvar kasi doon posibleng marami ang madamay,” he added.

The manager and one of the owners of the maritime products company, Michelle Timon, stated that one of their guests alerted them to the fire. The guest allegedly awoke unable to breathe due to the smoke shortly before 5 a.m.

Timon claimed that fire extinguishers were used to prevent the fire from spreading, but everyone was alarmed as it grew larger. She stated that they were unable to determine whether it started from a small office or from another location within their facility.

“Nagamit pa namin ang [fire extinguisher] lahat, pero nagulat kami biglang lumaki na naman. Kasi pawala na. Bago kami natutulog tsinek pa namin lahat kagabi (May 15) kasi late na dumating yong bisita namin,” she said.

“Ang ikinapagtataka ko lang kung saan nanggaling ang sunog. Kasi kung sa wire naman, nakabalot naman ang mga wire namin,” Timon added.

Timon said the facility was built in 2016 and their business started in late 2017. They have been engaged in buying marine products, selling tube ice, and water refilling.

Timon speculated that the fire may have been accidental because no one is upset with them.

“Aksidente lang po ata, kasi imposible… wala namang galit sa amin. Ang bait naman namin,” she said.

According to Caabay, it is the first structural fire reported this month and the second largest incident since the start of the year.

“Meron din tayong structural noong nakaraang araw, pero abandoned residential house sa Barangay San Jose at maliit lang. Hindi kagaya nito na medyo malaki,” he said.

Caabay advised the public to report fires immediately, noting that the incident that damaged Orodemar was reported to them more than thirty minutes already after it started.

As of this writing, he said investigation will be done immediately after the declaration of fire out.