Fire destroyed 21 houses and damaged 10 others in a congested area in Purok Magtiayon, Brgy. 10, Bacolod City, shortly before noon Thursday, February 16, Chief Inspector Rodel Legaspi, Bacolod fire marshal, said.
Asuncion Rolaña said everything they owned was destroyed by the fire, including a sack of rice they had just bought.
Rolaña said she was cooking spaghetti for the birthday of her 8-year-old grandchild when she saw that the fire had hit her neighbors’ houses prompting her to flee.
Sidewalk vendor Jenny Arosa said when she arrived the fire had already destroyed her house. No one was home when the fire broke out so they were not able to save anything, Arosa, who was weeping, said.
The Bacolod Bureau of Fire Protection estimated the destruction to the houses made mostly of light materials at P155,000. The estimate is subject to revision following the victims’ submission of their affidavits of fire loss, Legaspi said.
Fire fighters arrived at Purok Magtiayon at 11:54 a.m. and fire out was declared at 12:46 p.m., he said.
They had difficulty putting out the blaze because the houses were built close to each other and pathways were narrow, he said.
The strong wind also fanned the flames, he said.
They are still investigating the cause of the fire that started from the house of Edson Lorania, Legaspi said.
“We are thankful that the fire happened during the day time because no one in the area suffered from major injuries,” he added, Legaspi said.
City Social Welfare Officer Sally Abelarde said based on the data they gathered 22 houses were destroyed and four were damaged affecting 35 families with 122 individuals.
The majority of the fire victims sought temporary shelter at the Bacolod Arts, Youth and Sports (BAYS) Center at San Juan Street that has been turned into an evacuation center, she said.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez visited the scene of the fire and ordered that immediate assistance be provided to the victims.
They were given hot meals, food packs, hygiene kits, tents, folding beds and the cash assistance will follow, Benitez said.*