ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/31 October) – Fifteen persons, six of them children aged 1 to 10, were killed while 13 others were injured in a dawn fire Saturday that destroyed P8 million worth of properties at the old public market.
Supt. Dominador Zabala Jr., Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) marshal, said the fire razed 350 stalls and partially destroyed a three-storey commercial building in Sitio Magay, Barangay Zone 1.
Zabala said most of the stalls razed sold “ukay-ukay” (used clothing) while others sold marine products and vegetables. Dealers of aluminum, glass and plastic products occupied the commercial building.
Zabala said the fire broke out at around 2:45 a.m. in one of the stalls owned by a certain Mannan and rapidly spread to the nearby stalls reaching “third alarm status in few minutes.”
Investigation showed the fire started when the amber from an electric post that sparked fell into a stall of used clothing.
“Apparently it was a spark in the (electrical) wiring,” Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said. She noted some of the stalls were constructed illegally by the occupants.
She said the victims who were killed and injured stayed in their stalls while some spent the night as they were scheduled to travel to Jolo, Sulu.
The local police and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office released a list of the slain victims: Kayulan Hasiddin, 48; Musal Hasiddin, 45; Radzhata Hasiddin, 28; Bunay Hasiddin, one year old; Crissamae Hasiddin, 3; Noynoy Hasiddin, 5; Nurais Hasiddin, 9; Radzmer Hasiddin, 10; Ruhilyn Hamis, 26; Jasper Hamis, one; Abei Salahuddin, 40; Nuru-in Salahuddin, 39; Algabid Salahuddin, 20; Marilyn Salahuddin, 32; and, Binnas Salahuddin, 20.
Those who suffered burns and were rushed to the hospitals were: Alvin Bete, 14; Annang Erilis, 45; Nurmina Jamiri, 18; Yasser Jamiri, 29; Almudzra Hamis, 31; Midzfar Hamis, 7; Farhana Hamis, 9; Bennaser Hamis, 32; Abdurahman Hamis, 36; Nasriya Hamis, 5; Nasmiya Hamis, 9; Albini Jaani, 32 and, Alfredo Mana, 16.
Salazar said the injured victims would be transferred to the Mindanao Central Sanitarium in Barangay Pasobolong, this city, “so that they will be given better medical assistance.”
Salazar said she has instructed City Social Welfare and Development Officer Socorro Rojas to provide the necessary assistance to the victims.
Zabala said the fire was placed under control around at 5:20 a.m. “Fire out” was declared at 7:50 a.m. (MindaNews)