BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
It was an ordinary afternoon for residents of Purok Neptune in Brgy. Singcang Airport in Bacolod City yesterday, until one of their neighbors started shouting that a fire had broken out and was engulfing a house in the area.
“I was sleeping when I heard a bang and when I checked, the smoke was already billowing in our house,” Pancho Pestano, the owner of the house where the fire allegedly started, told the DAILY STAR.
“I hurriedly went to turn off the main electrical switch but I was almost electrocuted and saw that my house was already on fire,” Pestano said.
He said he hurriedly went out of his burning house but before he could go any further, he passed out.
His son, Joey, whose house was near his father’s, said a neighbor informed his wife that they could smell what seemed to be a burning electrical cord but could not determine where it was emanating.
When he came out to check, he saw that the fire was already huge, he said.
The Pestanos, along with some of their neighbors, failed to save any of their belongings as the fire rapidly spread since most of the houses were made of light materials.
The strong wind also contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze, Chief Insp. Rodel Legazpi, Bacolod fire marshal, said.
Legazpi said they do not have the details yet on the cause of the fire, but he said about 30 houses were destroyed.
A resident, whom he did not identify, was also treated for minor injuries, Legazpi said. They will continue their investigation to ascertain the damage caused by the fire and what actually triggered it, he also said.
The fire was put out about 5:21 p.m., more than an hour after it was reported.
Fire responders had a difficult time putting it out because of the narrow pathway.
Some of the residents helped in putting out the fire by fetching water from a nearby creek while others helped the firemen in carrying their hoses. After the fire was put out, the residents, whose houses were spared, went back home with the belongings and pets they brought with them while escaping the blaze.*