GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 18 January) – An old landmark here is gone after a pre-dawn conflagration razed the historic Jose Catolico Puericulture Center amid a downpour.
Built as a wooden structure in the early 50s, the center was a popular go-to for expectant mothers for their affordable service. The center, which stood alongside the city hall, was one of the few remaining old landmarks in the city.
Fire investigators estimated the damage at half a million pesos.
No one was reported hurt among the patients who have recently delivered their babies, as they were immediately evacuated.
A fireman at the scene said they were still determining the cause of the conflagration.
Maila Ismael, a midwife of the center, said they were able to transfer to a hospital a woman who was set to deliver a baby early morning Monday.
She said the fire started around 2:30am after a loud explosion at the upper floor of the two-storey building, which cut off the lights.
“Flames immediately spread on the second floor,” Ismael added.
Many residents were born in that center, among them my siblings, lamented Marvi Canzana.
“So unfortunate it is now gone,” Canzana said.