Zamboanga City may lost one of its biggest home appliance and grocery stores to a fire Thursday night that reduced to ashes about P30-million worth of stocks, however, it was only the 64th fire incident in the city since January.
Acting District Fire Marshal Chief Insp. Jacqueline Ortega reported at the press briefing last Monday that from January to March 8, this year, there were a total of 64 fire incidents in the city, of which 38 were non-structural and 26 structural, including the Budgetwise fire on March 5.
This year’s damage to properties was placed at P35.335 million.
In comparison, there were 153 fire incidents—131 non-structural and 32 structural—during the same period in 2019, thus a significant decrease of 78.75%.
Total damage to properties in 2019 was much lower though at P8.750 million.
In all of the fire incidents, no fatality was reported except for one civilian injured.
Ortega attributed the decrease in fire incidents to the people’s increase awareness as the country observes this March as the Fire Prevention Awareness Month.
However, she noted that most of the fire incidents were non-structural caused by bush or grass fires.
Other causes of fires were faulty electrical connection, overheated home appliances, spontaneous combustion of solid material, unattended cooking/stove, bonfire to structural fire, open flame due to torch (gasera), lighted cigarette buts/mosquito coils, unattended lighted candle and open flame from firewood or charcoal.
Barangays Canelar, San Jose Gusu, San Roque and Tumaga were reported to have had two fire incidents each since January.-(Vic Larato)