Arson charges filed against janitor in P20-M San Carlos Blaze

A Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel probes the scene following a blaze that gutted the mayor’s house and their family’s ancestral home in Barangay 5, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, on June 14. (Photo courtesy of San Carlos City Fire Station)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – Police filed arson charges before the City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday, June 18, against a janitor for a blaze that affected the mayor’s house in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, on June 14.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Nazer Canja, the city police chief, reported that the 58-year-old suspect executed an extrajudicial confession, admitting to the offense. Canja stated that the janitor voluntarily surrendered to the authorities on June 15, a day after the incident occurred.

According to Canja, the suspect alleged that he felt bad after being terminated from a school, prompting him to commit the crime. The janitor had been working at the school for about three months.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) stood as the complainant in the filing of arson charges. Based on the initial investigation by the BFP, the blaze originated from a stockroom of the iconic Chinese school Daisy’s ABC School, founded by the Chinese-Filipino Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The fire then spread to the house of Mayor Renato Gustilo and their family’s ancestral home in Barangay 5.

Mayor Gustilo was in Manila when he learned of the blaze. Fire Officer 3 Joseph Earl Solivio, chief investigator of the San Carlos City Fire Station, said that their investigation suggested the janitor allegedly poured gasoline in the school stockroom and set it on fire.

Despite the janitor’s confession, Solivio said the investigation would continue to determine other factors that might have contributed to the cause of the fire. Solivio estimated that the fire caused P20 million worth of damage.


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