DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento gave financial assistance to Fire Volunteer Manuel Claudio of Barangay Galas Volunteer Fire Brigade who lost consciousness and suffered first-degree burn while combatting the blaze that occurred last October 22 (Thursday) in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City that left about 375 families homeless.
The fire started at around 7 p.m. and spread rapidly as the houses in the area were made mostly from light, flammable materials, prompting the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) responding units to raise the alert level to Task Force Alpha. It was declared fire out at 9:47 p.m. and the damage from the fire was estimated at P600,000.
Claudio who was rushed to East Avenue Medical Center was electrocuted when an electrical post nearby toppled and hit him together with Fire Officer 1 Joseph Batuto. Both were seriously injured, while Batuto who sustained head wound was immediately treated on site by the responding Emergency Medical Services of the BFP (EMS-BFP). Other fire fighters in the area, along with some media members also suffered minor injuries.
“I am personally extending my sincerest appreciation for the heroic deeds exemplified by our firefighters by risking their lives just to ensure the safety of the community” Secretary Sarmiento said as he extends financial assistance to Fire Volunteer Claudio. He further mentioned that the DILG will always look at the welfare of their men and will not hesitate to immediately take action and extend whatever assistance that the agency can give during similar situations.
The aid was personally handed over to Claudio by Director Ariel Barayuga, the Chief of the BFP, who also expressed his commendation to the bravery of firefighters and fire volunteers who have been consistently augmenting the BFP during conflagration.
“This financial assistance was made through the effort of the DILG and the BFP as part of our support to the injured fire volunteer. We salute their genuine sacrifice being our partner and force multiplier in fire prevention and suppression. Being volunteers, they do not have any remuneration; thus, with this financial aid it will be a big help to the family,” Barayuga said.
The BFP Quezon City through its District Fire Marshal, Superintendent Jesus Fernandez earlier gave financial assistance to Claudio upon his admission to the said hospital. Last January 1, 2015 the BFP also gave financial assistance to fire aid Paul Manuel, whose three fingers on his right hand were severed caused by a shrapnel from a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank that exploded in Barangay Apolonio Samson in Quezon City which claimed 3 lives and gutted 800 houses. The cause of the fire was allegedly triggered by a fire cracker or ‘kwitis’. Also last March 2, 2015 officials from the DILG and BFP attended the burial ceremony for 2 firefighters and 1 fire volunteer who died when their firetruck apparently had a brake malfunction while responding to a fire call in Sitio Tapol, Barangay Tomoang, Davao City. They also received financial assistance from the DILG and the BFP.
Meanwhile, the BFP is reminding the public to be extra cautious especially in the observance of the All Soul’s and All Saint’s Day. It is during this occasion that some people become careless when using their lighted candles. It is therefore very important to practice fire safety consciousness among the community. In case of fire, the BFP can be reached at 117 or through the telephone numbers of the nearest fire station in their area.###
BFP News Release
27 October 2015
Reference: Office of the Public Information Services, BFP-NHQ