BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Residents of Purok Malipayon in Brgy. 12, Bacolod City, scampered outside of their houses when fire broke out past 9 a.m. yesterday.
Bacolod City fire marshal, Chief Inspector Rodel Legaspi, said the two-hour fire gutted about 15 houses, with initial worth of damage placed at P100,000.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office said the fire affected 19 families, composed of 51 individuals.
Two children were seen playing with matches at the ground floor of the house of Rody Agravante a few minutes before the fire broke out, Legaspi said.
He added that the narrow pathways and strong winds contributed to the difficulties in putting out the fire, adding that the second floors of some these houses were made of light materials.
The dark billowing smoke reached the Bacolod Public Plaza that is near the fire area, he said.
While the fire was being put out, two children were reported missing but they were found later, Legaspi said. A fireman was hospitalized after suffering a cut in his finger that needed to be stitched, he also said.
Resident July Villador said he was preparing lunch when he saw smoke emanating from the house of his neighbor, and immediately took his children to safety while Diday Segovia, who owns an eatery in the area, said she failed to save anything.
Panic-stricken residents carried things, including cabinets, refrigerators, and other appliances out to the street as they waited for the fire fighters to put out the conflagration.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran went to the area and checked on the situation of affected residents.
Leonardia ordered the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the DSSD to provide assistance to the fire victims, like food packs, tents, hygiene kits, and other basic supplies.
The affected families will also receive financial assistance from the City.
The CDRRMO assured that there is enough supply of food, hygiene kits, tents and others for the affected residents.*