KALIBO, Aklan – A four-hour predawn fire razed stalls at the public market here on Toting Reyes Street, Barangay Andagao early morning yesterday. Damage to property was initially pegged at P35 million by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
BFP-Kalibo was alerted about the blaze at around 12:26 a.m. The fire reached third alarm at 12:35 a.m. and a general alarm was raised by Superintendent Nazrudyn Cablayan, provincial fire marshal.
Firefighting units from the municipalities of Balete, Libacao, Altavas, New Washington, Numancia, Malay, Ibajay, and Buruanga and even those from the Kalibo International Airport responded.
Some 276 stalls were affected. The fire was put under control at 4:25 a.m. and a fire out was declared at around 11:37 a.m.
“Wala tayong reported injuries or casualties,” said Fire Senior Inspector Sedgie Gerardo, Kalibo fire marshal.
Police helped control the crowd that gathered on streets. Portions of Toting Reyes Street and Roxas Avenue Extension were blocked off by the police.
As of this writing arson probers were yet to determine the origin and actual cause of the fire.
Stalls in the middle portion of the Kalibo public market were totally burned while those fronting Toting Reyes Street were partially damaged.
The fish and meat sections inside the market were spared by the fire.
After a fire out was declared, stallholders began sifting through the debris to salvage anything of value.
The municipal government of Kalibo declared a state of calamity yesterday so it could access the calamity fund to help displaced vendors.
A temporary relocation site is being eyed just across the Kalibo public market./PN