One killed, 14 houses razed in early morning fire

ONE person died while 14 houses were reduced to ash in a fire that hit Barangay Bakhaw in Mandurriao, Iloilo City on Mar 5, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office FB page)

A MAN died in a fire that broke out in the densely populated village of Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo City early morning of Mar 5, 2019.

The victim was identified as Cris Vincent Mauricio, 43, who lived in the house where the fire allegedly originated.

His father, Victor, said he tried to wake up Cris Vincent by forcibly opening the door to his room.

“We kept banging and knocking on the door but he did not wake up,” Victor said in the vernacular.

The victim went on a drinking spree the night before the incident happened.

Victor said he was awakened after he heard the cry of his grandchild. After failing to wake up Cris Vincent, he decided to bring his grandchild to safety.

“I tried to return inside the house but the fire already engulfed the entire house,” Victor said.

The fire quickly spread to neighboring houses and structures.

Fire Chief Inspector Christopher Regencia, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)-Iloilo City fire marshal, said they received the fire call at around 5:34 a.m.

Fire stations near the area immediately responded and quelled the fire but it still completely gobbled 12 houses.

Two structures were partially damaged.

Regencia said electricity might be the cause of the fire.

“It could either be short circuit of electrical wiring or overloading,” he said.

The room where Cris Vincent stayed was an extension of their house. He drew electricity from the main house by wire-tapping.

Damage to property was pegged at P600,000.

But Regencia said it could go up once Natasha, a distributor of men and women’s apparel, declares its losses to the fire.

Natasha is one of the two buildings that were partially damaged.