The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is again reinforcingfire prevention and safety measures in the different evacuation areas in Tacloban City after a fire tragedy that occurred yesterday in an evacuation center in Barangay 88 in San Jose,killing a 38-year old mother and her sixchildren.
The occurrence was considered as flash fire which concerns the Fire Bureaudue to the number of innocent lives claimed by the incident in less than a minute.
The victims were identified as Maria Eliza Ocenar, 38 years old, her children Cathlyn, 12; Justine, 9; John Mark, 6; Jasmine, 5; Jovielyn, 3; and Jackielyn, 3 months old. The family was sleeping when the fire broke out past 12 midnight. The father of the victim, Reynante, was working in Samar, Leyte. The victims were rushed to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center but they all died while under medication.
As per investigation, the mother used a kerosene lamp to light their tent while feeding her 3-month old baby.
Since the observance of Fire Prevention Month last March, personnel of the Tacloban City Fire Station have been constantly conducting fire safety awareness campaign in the evacuation areas currently sheltering the victims of super typhoon Yolanda. The evacuees were earlier warned not to use kerosene lamps in the site due to the flammability of the tents they used as temporary refuge. Several inspections and Barangay Ugnayan activities were conducted and are continuously conducted there, including the area where the incident transpired.
The fire station in San Jose area was damaged and washed out during the devastation of Yolanda last year. Tacloban City Fire Station is 8-km away and considered to be the nearest fire station in San Jose with its two fire trucks immediately responding during the incident.
The Bureau is intensely investigating the said incident to explicate the cause of fire. BFP Regional Office 8 Director CSUPT PABLITO D CORDETA, together with Tacloban City Fire Marshal, is now preceding a lateral investigation to fast track information regarding the incident.
BFP Officer-in-Charge CSUPT CARLITO S ROMERO and CSUPT CORDETA, upon the direction of DILG Secretary MAR ROXAS, initially gave financial assistance to the bereaved family to help them in the burial of the victims.
BFP is now reiterating its concern that evacuees must properly and seriously abide fire safety measures to prevent similar incident to happen again.