Espinosa mulls revival of brgy fire brigades

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

ILOILO City – After a series of fire incidents on the first week of November, Mayor Jose Espinosa III bared a plan to revive barangay fire brigades in all of the 180 villages of the metropolis.

“The barangay fire brigade will be the one in-charge of putting up two to three drums in village areas identified as fire hazards. If a fire occurs, residents can easily stop it from spreading because they have stand by drums of water,” said Espinosa.

Fire can be stopped as long as it does not last for more than 20 minutes, he averred.

“During these 20 minutes, residents can get water from that drum and help the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP),” added Espinosa.

Aside from the reactivation of fire brigades, Espinosa also mulled creating quick reaction teams in the following city government offices:

* City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO)

* City Health Office (CHO)

* Office of the City Mayor

* City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO)

“The teams will position themselves and will have their own flags with their own names so that the fire victims can easily identify the staff of CHO, CSWDO or CDRRMO and get assistance from them,” said Espinosa.

Some P4 million worth of properties went up in smoke at a residential area in Sitio Langka, Barangay Benedicto, Jaro district that fire struck on Nov. 4.

City Fire Marshal Bartolome Beliran considered the Jaro fire the biggest since the blaze that hit barangays Bolilao and Bakhaw in Mandurriao district on Aug. 31.

A total of 105 families and 72 houses were affected by the Jaro fire, the CDRRMO said in a report, citing validated figures from the CSWDO.

On Nov. 5, fire struck Barangay Zamora-Melliza in the City Proper. Fifteen houses were razed, eight of these totally gutted.

On Aug. 31, fire totally gutted 80 houses in barangays  Bakhaw and Bolilao in Mandurriao.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, most of the houses – many operating as boardinghouses – were made of light materials so the fire spread fast.

Property damage reached P10 million, said Senior Fire Officer 1 Rollin Hormina.

The bureau counted 10 persons injured – three firefighters and seven civilians.

There were no casualties.

It took firefighters over an hour to put out the blaze.

Hormina said 30 houses were totally damaged in Barangay Bolilao and three partially damaged.

In Barangay Bakhaw, 50 houses were totally damaged and four partially damaged.

An unattended kitchen fire likely caused the blaze, according to Barangay Captain Remia Gregori of Bakhaw. (Iloilo City PIO/PN)