T’boli town market burns

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – Two persons were injured when a huge fire broke out early Monday at a portion of the public market of T’boli town in South Cotabato.

Chief Insp. Edzrapel Dilawangan, South Cotabato provincial fire marshal, said an entire block where the market’s old building was located was razed to the ground after it caught fire shortly before 4am.

He said two residents who responded to the fire sustained second degree burns and were brought for treatment to a local private hospital.

Citing a report from the T’boli municipal fire station, Dilawangan said they received the fire alarm at around 4:05am.

He said several witnesses reported that the fire appeared to have started at the central portion of the market building, which hosted used clothing and kitchenware stalls.

Dilawangan said it spread rapidly towards other portions of the building and nearby structures, among them a new concrete market building.

The official said the fire reached the third alarm before it was declared as fully controlled at around 6am by responding firefighters from the T’boli, Banga and Sto. Nino municipal fire stations as well as volunteer fire brigades of the Sumifru Corporation and the Dole Philippines Inc.

“We’re still investigating the real cause of the incident but it appears that it was not intentional,” he said.

He said the fire totally wiped out at least 10 stalls and partially damaged seven other establishments and a parked vehicle.

Dilawangan said they have yet to complete their assessment of the damages wrought by the fire but local authorities noted that it could be worth millions. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)