BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Bureau of Fire Protection placed at P100,000 the damage caused by fire that burned a portion of the historic St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church in Brgy. Vito, Sagay City, Negros Occidental, Friday night.
Fr. Vincent Tubiera, parish priest, said the burned portion was made of light materials, while its high ceiling was made of century-old wood.
Tubiera said the incident happened at about 11 p.m. Friday, and the fire, due to an electrical short circuit, started from the right side of the church.
“At the moment, we are in constant coordination with the authorities to ensure the safety of other structures adjacent to the site of the incident, and to determine whether these areas are still viable for use for other spiritual activities of the community,” Tubiera said.
Sagay City BFP firefighters managed to douse the blaze within a few minutes of their arrival, preventing it from totally gutting the whole church.
The historic St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Church, that was established by Augustinian Recollect friars in 1860, hosts a religious ritual called “palapak”, where the century-old image of St. Vincent Ferrer is placed on the affected parts of a person’s body to cure ailments.
The Church is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Negros Occidental, particularly during the observance of Good Friday.
Tubiera asked for prayers and support to help the parish thrive and recover from the untoward incident in the middle of a global pandemic.
“Through his intercession, may our Patron Saint, St. Vincent Ferrer, become our source of strength as we hope to go back, resume our normal activities, stronger and more fervently faithful than ever,” he added.*