SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 14 Oct) – A six-hour forest fire devoured two structures of a mining firm and a police patrol base in Surigao del Sur on Friday, a belated report by Philippine National Police said.
The fire, which originated from the compound of Platinum Group Metals Corporation in Claver, Surigao del Norte, spread out to the compound of Shenzhou Mining Group Corporation, burning two buildings of the company.
Shenzhou has stopped its operations following a cease and desist order from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau and a court order for its alleged violation of environmental laws.
Police said the fire started 11 a.m. Friday and spread as far as the police patrol base located at Kilometer 90, in the boundary of the two Surigao provinces.
Police said the said patrol base is manned by the 123nd Regional Public Safety Company. Its generator set, an M16 rifle, a shotgun, various ammunition and personal belongings of the PNP personnel assigned at the said patrol base were reportedly among those burned.
Police personnel from the municipality of Carrascal in Surigao del Sur responded to the area and assisted firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in containing the fire, conducting crowd control and also providing the security of the area.
The fire marshal declared that the fire had been contained by 4 p.m., five hours after it started.
Estimate of the cost of the fire damage has yet to be determined. No one was reportedly hurt during the fire incident.