The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Puerto Princesa City is still investigating the cause of the fire that engulfed several homes, injured two children, and killed a mother in Barangay San Miguel recently.
City BFP spokesperson Fire Officer 3 Rud Mark Anticano said the result of the investigation is still pending because they have not yet spoken to the Tesico sisters who remain confined at the Palawan Adventist Hospital (PAH).
Anticano said the statements of Kirzteen Joan Angeli, 12, and Keilah Joanna Angelene, 9, are very important to complete their investigation.
“As of now ganoon pa rin, naka-pending pa rin ‘yong result as to the cause [of the fire]. Ibig sabihin ongoing pa. Wala pa tayong mailalabas na exact na report kung ano ba talaga ‘yong pinagmulan, patuloy pa rin tayo sa investigation,” he said.
But Anticano said they are also looking into claims by Kate, the eldest daughter in the family, that the fire started from a rechargeable flashlight that went off on the eve of Aprill 19.
He said they want to speak with Kate to know about the matter, but understands that she is still busy tending to her sisters.
“Isa ‘yon sa mga anggulo na tinitingnan natin. Pero ngayon kasi hindi pa natin masyadong ma-confirm ‘yan dahil ‘yong mga witness na kukuhanan natin ng mga statement ay nasa ospital pa. Nirerespeto natin din ‘yong kanilang pagdadalamhati dahil nawalan din ng miyembro ng pamilya nila. Pero isa po ‘yon sa mga tinitignan natin,” he said.
Anticano said this is called “electrical ignition” or gadgets and appliances that sparked and caught fire when the power returned because they were accidentally left “unattended or unplugged.”
He said they are having difficulty investigating the Tesico home because everything was totally burnt.
“Sa palagay ko, sa theory, ha, sa rechargeable flashlight, nag-charge sila, patay-sindi ‘yong ilaw then pagbalik baka isa ‘yon sa mga hindi na-unplug. Tiningnan din namin ‘yong mga appliances na naiwan doon kasi maliban doon meron pa tayong nakita doon na tv, component, electric fan, ‘yon ang hinahanap namin, ‘yong electrical outlets,” he said.
Some families who lost their homes have already submitted their sworn statements, he said, and all them said the origin of the fire was the living room area of the Tesico home.
He said the spot report was completed within 24 hours, the progress report, on the other hand, has to be issued within seven to 15 days, and final written investigation report should be submitted not less than 45 days.
“Tapos man ‘yan o hindi, sa loob po ng 45 days kailangan may result na ‘yan. ‘Yon ‘yong nasa standard operating procedure natin. ‘Yong nagpapahirap lang naman dyan ‘yong paghanap ng ebidensya… nasira na, nasunog na ng apoy kaya nahihirapan,” Anticano stated.