A fire that struck a residential area in Barangay San Miguel early Friday morning left 26 families homeless and severely injured a mother and her two children, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.
The severely injured was identified as Myrna Tesico and her eight and 12 year old children by City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Fire Officer 3 Rod Mark Anticano.
“Mukhang malala, major talaga [ang injury nila]. Ang percentage [ng burn nila] nakuha namin doon sa hospital. Ang nanay nagtamo ng 90 percent [burn] sa body surface area, ‘yong isang bata (12 yrs. old) ay 60 percent, tapos ‘yong eight years old [ay] 70 to 80 percent. Base po sa mga witnesses natin tinuturo nila ‘yong sunog nagsimula dito sa boarding house ni ma’am Myrna Tesico rin kung saan natagpuan itong mga injured natin,” said Anticano.
He said they are now under the care of Palawan Adventist Hospital.
Anticano said a total of 19 structures were affected by the housefire.
Sixteen were totally burned to the ground, while the other three were partially damaged.
“Karamihan po dito ay boarding houses usually nasa four-by-five lang siya and semi-concrete, gawa sa sawali, plywood, semento [‘yong sahig], at medyo dikit-dikit sila nasa one meter to two meters lang ‘yong agwat [nila]. Meron din namang hiwa-hiwalay, merong mga duplex din. Tingin ko nakaapekto dito [sa mabilis na pag-kalat ng apoy] ay dahil nga gawa sila sa light materials at dikit-dikit at tingin ko may kinalaman din ‘yong [direksiyon ng] hangin,” said Anticano.
He said the affected area is identified as residential, sub-categorized into rental houses owned by Barangay San Miguel Councilor Purisima Caabay and one Rafael Biguella.
Anticano said three of the 19 structures were homes owned by Venzur Caabay, Jeffrey Roa, and Conde Gonzales.
Gonzales and Caabay’s were totally destroyed by the fire, said Anticano.
Based on their initial investigation, he said the fire started around 1:41 a.m., but they only received the call after almost 25 minutes at 2:05 a.m.
He said the City BFP team responded within the area one minute after the call, and declared the fire out after almost five hours or 6:45 a.m.
“Medyo matagal po bago naitawag. Ang fire out dineclare natin ito nang 6:45 a.m, mausok doon, talagang tinanggal natin ang usok dahil katabi siya ng airport, maaapektuhan ‘yong flight. Hindi makaka-alis at makakalapag ang eroplano [kung mausok]. Kaya hindi namin siya puwedeng iwanang may usok, kumbaga totally out talaga,” he said.
The initial estimated cost of damaged was around P500,000.
Anticano pointed out the amount will probably rise after the owners have filed their affidavits of loss.
The City BFP is still conducting further investigation to determine the cause of the fire.
Meanwhile, the 26 families whose homes were destroyed are temporarily sheltered at the covered court of Mateo Jagmis Elementary School (MJES), while some tenant victims are accommodated at the house of their landlord’s relative.