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Monday, April 15, 2024
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HomeLocal NewsTiempo muerto fire kills two in Sugarlandia

Tiempo muerto fire kills two in Sugarlandia

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by Mira Nicole Magbanua and Julius Mariveles

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – An early morning fire in a crowded community here killed a mother and her young daughter as the province slips into the dead season of the sugar industry.

Firefighters found the remains of what were later identified to be those of a former schoolteacher Mengel Itchon, 39, and her child, Gela, aged three, after the blaze that lasted less than 30 minutes – reported at 8:47am and declared a fire out by firefighters around 9:13am.

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The house of the Itchons was among the five dwellings razed by the fire, another was reportedly damaged and seven families were left homeless.

This Monday fire is the first major one this month that led to death here as temperatures soar to almost 40 degrees Celsius in the province, a significant rise compared to the past few months, according to a senior Capitol weather specialist.

Councilor Lady Gles Pallen. | DNX photo.
Councilor Lady Gles Pallen. | DNX photo.

Resisents in Bayanihan, a crowded community in Taculing, told DNX the fire coukd have started from one of the houses where a butane fuel tank exploded.

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As this story goes to press, however, the local fire bureau’s arson probers have yet to come out with their report.

“It is difficult if your house burns down but it’s more difficult if your relative dies,” Lea Ebisate, an aunt of Mengel told DNX.

She said she lost everything in the blaze but added she could not believe that her niece, who stopped teaching after a stroke, died in the blaze with her young daughter.

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Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and Councilor Lady Gles Pallen, both residents of Taculing, were the first on the ground, sympathizing with residents and offering help.

Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran. | DNX file photo.
Bacolod City Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran. | DNX file photo.

Pallen represents the Liga ng mga Barangay as punong barangay of Taculing.

Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, who went to the community en route to his regilar presser held today at the Panaad Park and Stadium, praised firefighters for their quick response.

He, however, said he wants a mapping of fire-prone areas here, an effort that will be conducted with village officials.

“We want to focus on prevention rather than thinking what to give to the victims,” Benitez said.

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DNX News Desk
DNX News Desk
Pioneer digital-first news and information source based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental province. We are committed to providing high-quality journalism to our audience.
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