An estimated 50 homes and food stores were destroyed by a fire that hit the “talipapa area” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday near East Central School (ECS) and Palawan National School (PNS) in Barangay Model, according to the provincial Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
BFP Palawan Fire Superintendent Catalino Ramos Jr. said they are still investigating the cause of the fire that they declared “under control” around 9:40 p.m.
Ramos said no one was reported hurt in the fire that lasted more than two hours.
The “talipapa” is a popular snack spot in the area among students of the ECS and the PNS.
Meanwhile, Ramos also belied claims by affected residents that the “insufficiency of water” was the reason why the fire was not prevented from spreading quickly.
“Hindi totoo ‘yan, talaga lang may lapses ang tubig, kaya niyan within five minutes, kaya ubusin ‘yan. Kasi kailangan natin sa pagpatay ng apoy ay ‘yong pressure… hindi naman puwede na parang nagdidilig lang. ‘Yan ang kailangan alisin dapat ng mga mamamayan sa kanilang isipan,” Ramos said.
A full report about the fire will be released as soon as their investigation has been completed, he pointed out.
“Under investigation pa, malalaman natin ‘yan. Na-deploy lahat [ng fire strucks], hintayin na lang natin ang report kung ilan,” he added.
Ramos also lamented the fact that barangay officials were not present to help manage the situation of the affected residents during the fire.
“Dapat nga sana ‘yong barangay captain ng nasasakupan, automatic nagkasunog sa lugar, ‘yong mga kagawad niya dapat nandito para proteskyunan naman kami, hindi para saktan,” he added.
This is the second major fire that occurred after the incident in Barangay San Miguel which affected 26 families, injured two children, and killed their mother.