2 children perish in Basilan fire

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 23 September) – The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) reported that two children, described by their father as “special children,” perished in a fire incident in Isabela City in Basilan last Monday.

The children’s 75-year-old grandfather narrowly escaped death as he managed to crawl out of the burning house.

Senior Insp. Usman Hussin, Isabela City Fire Marshall, said the fire that razed the two-story wooden residential house broke out shortly before 2 p.m. at Strong Boulevard in Barangay Seaside.

The house was owned by Ben Go and occupied by the family of Reynante Salazar.

Isabela City-based DXNO-Radyo Comunidad station manager Richard Falcatan quoted Salazar as saying that his two sons aged 10 and 14 were “special children,” or those with disabilities with special needs, and probably the reason why they failed to get out of the burning house.

Usman placed at P200,000 the worth of properties that were damaged during the fire. They have yet to determine the origin of the fire.

Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar has ordered the release of financial assistance to Salazar’s family.

Also on Monday, a fire broke out in Dipolog City, almost razing down a two-story semi-concrete building that houses the Department of Education (DepEd)-Zamboanga del Norte Division Office in Barangay Estaka.

Senior Insp. Richard Timosa, Dipolog City Fire Marshall, said that three houses made of light materials were also gutted down in the fire that broke out around 8:20 p.m.

Timosa said the possible cause of the fire was faulty electrical wiring as the security guard on duty told them he noticed electrical sparks before the fire broke out.

He said the blaze was contained and was declared fire out at 11 p.m. Damage was estimated at P2.5 million.