By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
A two-story house was heavily damaged after it caught fire last night at Purok DC-3 in the Regent Pearl Homes Subdivision, Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City.
Bacolod City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Fire Marshall, Fire Chief Inspector Publio Ploteña, said the fire was initially reported by a concerned resident around 6:49 p.m. saying the house owned by 75-year-old Isabelle Garcia was ablaze.
Firefighters arrived within minutes; however, they initially encountered difficulty entering the narrow streets of the subdivision, which was further hampered by several parked vehicles.
Garcia and five other family members were able to escape the burning house, although she sustained first degree burns, which affected 27 percent of her face and arms.
Firefighters managed to control the blaze, with a fireout declared by 7:33 p.m.
Damage was estimated at P100,000.
While Ploteña said arson investigators have yet to determine the cause of the blaze, which started on the second floor, in an interview with Watchmen Daily Journal, Garcia said she lit a candle at an altar to start her evening prayers.
The homeowner said she later went downstairs and, upon returning a few minutes later, the room that housed the altar was already ablaze.
Aside from burns, Garcia was also treated for minor smoke inhalation, but was eventually declared “out of danger” and was sent to a hospital for treatment./DGB, WDJ