Short circuit caused fire; cash aid eyed for victims

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

AN OVERLOADED electrical circuit caused the fire that gutted more than 90 houses in Purok Katilingban 1, Barangay 39, Bacolod City Tuesday afternoon, the Bureau of Fire Protection said.

From the initial figure of 101 destroyed houses that the BFP reported Wednesday, the final number of affected houses was reduced to 94 houses, based on the records of Department of Social Service and Development.

Fire Officer 2 Mark Stephen Trajeras said a short circuit was seen as caused of the fire that started at the house of Omie and Butchoy Pitogo.


Omie denied that the fire started from their house, but it’s a “natural defense mechanism” of a person involved in such incidents, Trajeras said.

She told the arson investigator that while she was doing laundry outside their house, she heard her baby crying inside and when she checked on her, she saw that their roof was on fire.

Omie took her baby from the cradle and informed her neighbors about the fire.

Trajeras said the neighbors also said that the fire started from the Pitogo house.

The BFP received the fire call at 12:35 p.m. and the blaze was placed under control at 1:15 p.m.

Trajeras said the fire destroyed P2-million worth of properties, but there were no reported casualties or injuries.

DSSD officer Pacita Tero said the total houses destroyed reached to 89 while five were damaged. Read the related story here.

Total families affected reached to 173 composed of 539 individuals.
Out of 539 individuals, 69 are boarders/sharers.

The fire victims were evacuated to the gym of Blessed Carmen Salles School and to the Barangay 39 Hall.

Tero said the number of affected houses was reduced after they found some double entries in their records.

She said the management of Blessed Carmen Salles School allowed the affected victims to stay inside the school for five to seven days.

They are waiting for donors to help them build temporary houses in Barangay 39, Tero said.

Before the fire incident, the houses of the victims were set to be demolished, but they asked the lot owner to give them more time to find a relocation site.

Most of the fire victims want to stay in Barangay 39 because their children are studying in nearby schools, she said.

Tero said the DSSD will also meet with the Bacolod Housing Authority to determine if they could provide a relocation site for the fire victims.

She also said they proposed to the City Government to give P5,000 each to residents with “totally damaged” houses and P3,000 for those with “partially-damaged” homes.

The DSSD also received donations, but they still need more assistance to sustain the affected families’ daily needs like food, clothes, pillows, blankets and personal care items or toiletries, Tero said.

Village chief Dante Danoy has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the use of the barangay calamity fund, Vice Mayor Greg Gasataya said.

We also met with the barangay officials to discuss the use of the fund, he said.

Barangay 39 has P113,000 in calamity fund. (With reports from CNC)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on September 04, 2014.

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