Koronadal school fire damage pegged at P5M

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/07 April) — Around P5 million worth of equipment and facilities were destroyed after another huge fire gutted down a laboratory building of a technical-vocational college in Koronadal City on Thursday night.

Fire Sr. Insp. Reginald Legaste, Koronadal City fire marshal, said the fire started at around 6 p.m. in one of the classrooms at the two-storey laboratory building of the Marbel Institute of Technical College (MITC) along Alunan Avenue in Barangay Zone 4.

He said no one was reported hurt in the incident, which was declared under control by the Bureau of Fire Protection about 40 minutes later.

Firefighters and volunteers from the Koronadal City, Tantangan and Banga fire stations and the KCC Mall fire brigade responded to the scene, he said.

“Our investigation is still ongoing as to the actual origin and cause of the fire but there were indications that it could have been due to faulty electrical wiring,” he said in a radio interview.

Fire Officer 2 Ricky Villacura, fire investigator, said at least six classrooms were destroyed in the fire, which reached the second alarm.

He said it spread quickly as the building was mostly made of light materials and some parts of it were already “dilapidated.”

Sources said the structure used to be a house that was built in the 60s and served as a boarding house before it was converted into a classroom building.

Villacura said among those destroyed was the school’s laboratories for its automotive and electricity classes.

The laboratories housed automotive parts, engines and tools, as well as various electrical equipment and materials.

“The building was also used for the assessment of the school’s driving, automotive and electricity students so estimated damage was quite significant,” he said.

The MITC fire is the second major incident in Koronadal City in two days.

On Tuesday night, a resident was injured while 39 families lost their homes in a fire at Block 1 and 2 of Casa Subdivision in Purok Maria Casa, Barangay Zone 3.

The fire, which left an initial estimated damage of around P500,000, razed at least 25 residential and boarding houses. (MindaNews)