More fires in Zambo in 2013 due to standoff

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/07 January) – Properties damaged by fire last year registered a huge increase compared to 2012 due to the standoff with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) – Misuari faction, the Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) of the Bureau of Fire Protection said.

Supt. Dominador Zabala Jr., ZCFD Fire Marshall said the value of properties destroyed in fire incidents in 2013 reached P193.9 million or an increase of P187.8 million compared to only P6.037 million registered in 2012.

Zabala said the huge increase was due to the 46 fire incidents that erupted during the three-week standoff in September.

The fighting started last September 9 when hundreds of MNLF rebels entered the city and engaged government forces in gunfights in at least four adjoining barangays near the city proper.

The ZCFD recorded 110 fire incidents for 2013 and only 43 incidents in 2012, according to Zabala.

He said two civilians were killed and 13 others, including a fireman, were injured in fire incidents in 2013.

Two civilians were killed and six others were injured in 2012, he said.

Zabala urged the public to always take precautions to avoid fire incidents, saying he is looking forward to fewer fires this year.

He said the people should not leave lighted candles unattended during blackouts and to periodically check their electrical wiring to avoid short circuit. (MindaNews)