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Metro Baguio

3-storey building catches fire due to neglected candle

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A three-storey residential building sustained an estimated P0.5-million worth of damages when a lighted candle used in praying for the black rosary was left unattended on Oct. 5 at Purok II, Honeymoon Barangay.

The residential house is being occupied by three families and several student boarders.

Eunice Kate Guzman, a niece of one of the families, said that her relatives have just finished praying for the black rosary when the fire started.

“I was in the first floor when I heard one of my auntie shouting for help because our altar is covered with fire,” De Guzman said.

Senior Inspector Nestor Gorio, acting city fire martial of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Baguio, said that the family lit a candle at around 2pm before praying the black rosary.

“We received the call at around 4:30pm and we arrived at the scene 10 minutes later. Both the second and third floors of the building are made of fire hazard materials that’s why when we arrived, the fire was already strong. Immediately, our fire martials and other volunteers immediately quench water at the building,” Gorio said.

The fire officer said that the house is being occupied by the families of Editha Alquiza, Mina Caluza, Remedios Picardal Canonizado, and several student boarders.

“Based on our initial investigation, the occupants forgot to put off the lighted candle after praying the black rosary and went to the dining table to eat their snacks. Editha Alqueza first saw the fire but it’s already strong that she can no longer put off,” the fire officer said.

The fire was declared out at around 5pm but both the second and third floors were totally burned. “And our estimated damaged cost is more or less P500,000,” Gorio said.

Because of the incident, the fire officer again reminded the residents to take precautionary measures to prevent similar incidents. “I would like to remind everyone to be mindful when cooking, plugging appliances or lighting a candle to take extra precautionary measures to prevent fire from destroying our hard-earned properties,” Gorio added.

Romulo L. Wayway, barangay captain of Honeymoon, said that he already offered the barangay hall as temporary shelter but the family decided to sleep over in the house of their relatives. The students also decided to take temporary shelter with their classmates and friends.

Gorio said that no injuries and casualties were recorded during fire. “This is the very first structural fire this month and I hope that it will not happen again,” he added. DIONISIO B. DENNIS JR. / ABN

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