BLAZING WEDNESDAY: JANUARY 13, 2010
While out on a stroll yesterday (or rather 2 weeks ago), I spotted another smoke cloud billowing out of the city. Such a pity with 2010 just starting out.
From the distance photo was shot (look closely) there is fire barely licking at the smoke and that definitely signals a roaring blaze at ground zero. As the photo is proof, that plume of smoke is huge and that location is easily a 45 minute drive without traffic.
The fire, which lasted for about four hours, reportedly started at 5:45 p.m (according to my EXIF data the fire started around 5:30pm). at the house of Jenny Peralta located at the back of the Philippine Columbian Office at Canonigo Street corner Gomez Street, the boundary of Paco and Pandacan. The blaze quickly spread to neighboring houses that were mostly built from light materials. Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officials in Manila have raised the fire into general alarm, indicating the need for back-up to control the fire. Several fire stations from nearby cities augmented in putting off the blaze.
Affected residents, in a television interview Wednesday night, blamed firefighters for the incident. In response, the BFP admitted that there was a problem in coordination between volunteers and government forces. (A reality here in the Philippines, where volunteer firefighters most always arrive first to fight the blaze only to be ordered to stop when government firefighters are on scene. Why? Some say that GFF’s will not put out a blaze without receiving payment of some kind. Then again who can blame the GFF’s as government salary is meager-some say starting pay is just a mere PHP9,000 approx. USD200-try living on this when utility and grocery prices are on a constant rise.)
Deputy presidential spokesperson Charito Planas, in a telephone interview Wednesday, said the narrow alleys in the areas where the fire hit made it difficult for firefighters to put out the blaze right away. – Sunstar.com.ph