The Bureau of Fire Protection is still probing the causes of two big fires in Bacolod City, Monday.
City fire marshal Chief Insp. Publio Ploteña said yesterday that they are still gathering data and information to establish the cause of the fires in a residential area in Purok Kagaycay, Barangay 2 in Bacolod and at the SM Hypermarket in Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod.
The Barangay 2 fire, that lasted for more than four hours,started at the kitchen of the house owned by Elbert Deo, and spread to about 200 houses, mostly made of light materials, at about 3:49 a.m. Monday, he said.
Deo and his partner, who were quarrelling, were pinpointed by their neighbors to have set their house on fire, triggering the huge early morning blaze in the purok, resulting in about PHP.5 million worth of properties destroyed.
Ploteña said Deo, who was brought to Station 2, will be released once the reglamentary period for his detention lapses and no charges are be filed against him.
Witnesses may execute affidavits later and charges for arson may be filed against Deo and his partner who is at-large, Ploteña said.
Some of the fire survivors are staying at the gymnasium of the Andres Bonifacio Elementary School 2, which serves as an evacuation center.
Meanwhile, after 22 hours of firefighting operations, the fire at the SM Hypermarket in Barangay Handumanan, Bacolod, was declared out at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, he said.
“Initially, the damage to the commercial establishment was placed at more or less P5 million, but the figure could still change once the management submits its affidavit of loss on the total damages caused by the fire,” Ploteña said.
He said initial investigation on the Handumanan fire showed that it started at the east portion of the establishment at about 1:25 a.m. Monday.
The fire had been rekindling on Monday andat about 3 a.m. yesterday but it was immediately contained, Ploteña added.
No injuries or fatalities were reported in the two big fires.*
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