by Christele J. Amoyan, Noli A. Magsambol, and Jeyneth Ann R. Mariano
Fire blazed across three houses at Purok 4 Barangay Putho-Tuntungin in Los Baños, Laguna at 11:46 am of December 12.
Brgy. Putho-Tuntungin barangay officials and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) responded to the fire incident. Mayor Caesar Perez together with fire trucks from Brgy. Batong Malake and International Rice Research Institute Fire Brigade reported to the area to help abate the fire. The fire died down at around 12:41 pm allowing the BFP to inspect the damaged residences to determine the source of fire.
Neil B. Yonzon, 26, of Brgy. Mayondon captured the December 12 fire in Putho-Tuntungin through his camera phone.
The fire victims and witnesses were immediately gathered at the Putho-Tuntungin Barangay Hall by Barangay Captain Ronaldo N. Oñate and were later escorted to the BFP office in Barangay Anos at around 3 pm.
Based on the initial investigation of the BFP in Los Baños, the fire started at the residence of Lucena Maguila. BFP initial findings indicate that the fire started from the kitchen where the cooking fire was left unattended. The reported estimated overall damage to properties is Php 370,000, including the houses of Jacinto Palomata and Clareta Bueza which are adjacent to Maguila’s residence.
“Nakita ko na lang, sunog na yung bahay namin,” said Jasmin, daughter of Jacinto Palomata. She was inside the comfort room when the fire accident took place. Fortunately, her cousin Lovely was able to warn her to immediately leave the house.
Manguila recounted, “Noong umuwi ako ng mga bandang alas onse, magluluto sana ako ng tinapa kaya lang wala palang panggatong. Lumabas na lang ako para maglaba. Pagbalik ko mga bandang alas onse ‘y medya [11:30 am] ay sunog na ang bahay ko at nadamay din yung dalawa pang katabing bahay.”
Maguila said that this is not the first time that somebody attempted to burn her house down. She shared that the December 12 incident is the third incident of fire breaking out in her house and is by far the most destructive.
The BFP investigation is still ongoing as of press time. No serious injuries or deaths were reported from the incident.