Fire hits 4-storey school building

Fire trucks respond to a fire that occurred in a four-storey building of STI West Negros University in Bacolod City Friday. (Photo courtesy of Christopher Dela Cruz)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Few minutes before the fire drill at STI-West Negros University Friday morning, a blaze broke out at the School Basic Education (SBE) building around 8:23 a.m.

This is the third fire incident that happened here in the span of four days this week, following the Java pension house blaze that claimed six lives, and another incident at Barangay 2 which also claimed the life of a five-year-old boy.

Chief Inspector Publio Ploteña, head of Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), said the fire started from the stock room located at the second floor of the building. But, they have yet to determine the cause of fire.

The fire broke out while students, faculties, rescuers, and some firefighters were preparing for a fire drill inside the university.

“Mayo lang gid kay prepared man ang mga kabataan so na vacate nila dayun ang building,” Ploteña said.

Hundreds of students were moved to the football field as temporary evacuation.

Moreover, Dondon Parandas, operations officer of City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), said about 30 students, mostly elementry pupils were given first aid after they suffered difficulty of breathing and nervousness when the incident happened.

Nobody was confined in a hospital as they recovered several minutes later, he added.

Parandas said no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, Ploteña said the school is compliant with regards to fire safety protocols.

The BFP declared fire out around 9:23 a.m. damage to property was pegged at P150,000.