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Home Features Combustion and Suffocation: Death causing factors during fire

Combustion and Suffocation: Death causing factors during fire

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BACOLOD CITY – At around 4:37 in the morning of November 26, an early morning fire in the Bacolod City gutted the Java Pension House, killing six people including the owner and his family.

Volunteer firefighters from the Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade brave the heat on aerial platforms of Chamber as they contain the fire that gutted Java Pension House in the early morning of 26 November in Bacolod City. | Photo by Richard D. Meriveles
Volunteer firefighters from the Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade brave the heat on aerial platforms of Chamber as they contain the fire that gutted Java Pension House in the early morning of 26 November in Bacolod City. | Photo by Richard D. Meriveles

The fire started from the ground floor and spread quickly to other parts of the building because of the strong monsoon winds.

One of the leading causes of deaths related to fires is suffocation due to smoke inhalation.

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Smoke inhalation happens when one inhales products of combustion during a fire.

Combustion uses up all the available oxygen in the area where a fire is happening, lessening the oxygen level to zero.

REMNANTS OF THE BLAZE. Bureau of Fire personnel do a post-fire mapping of the Java Pension House that was gutted by an early-morning fire yesterday, 26 November. | Photo by Richard D. Meriveles
REMNANTS OF THE BLAZE. Bureau of Fire personnel do a post-fire mapping of the Java Pension House that was gutted by an early-morning fire yesterday, 26 November. | Photo by Richard D. Meriveles

Smoke is not directly harmful but it takes up the space for oxygen needed by the body, thus suffocation occurs.

Suffocation is death caused by lack of oxygen or one being deprived of breathing.

An average of 251 deaths every year are due to fire incidents.

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From 2013 to 2017, an average of 15,545 fire incidents every year were recorded by the Bureau of Fire Protection – a total of 77,724 in five years with 42 incidents in a day.

In 2018, there were 14,316 recorded fire incidents in the country from January 1 to December 28.

Firefighters retrieve bodies, such as this one, of those who died in the recent Java Pension House fire. | Photo by Neska A. Centina
Firefighters retrieve bodies, such as this one, of those who died in the recent Java Pension House fire. | Photo by Neska A. Centina

Some of the bodies found in the recent Java Pension House fire were seen in the hallways – an indication that the victims tried to escape but were left suffocated.

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Jose Aaron C. Abinosa
Jose Aaron C. Abinosa
Jose Aaron Abinosa graduated with a degree in Communication at the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod. His love for food and the media led him to create an online food channel called “Espresso”. He is also a dancer, singer, graphic designer, and a former theatre play director.

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