By CRIS EUGENE T. GIANAN
A second-alarm fire struck the famed Artlet hangout Antonio St. along Dapitan on Tuesday afternoon, gutting five houses and causing an estimated P450,000 worth of damages.
Senior Inspector Redentor Alumno of the Manila Fire Bureau said the fire began at around 4:45 p.m. and spread to other houses in the compound, reaching first and second alarms at 4:46 p.m. and 4:48 p.m., respectively.
The local fire chief said one of the residents, 76-year-old Roberto Santiago, left a newly-repaired electric fan running which supposedly overheated and started the blaze.
“‘Yung isang electric fan ginamit niya, then pagbalik niya, umusok na. Kung makikita niyo itong pattern ng sunog, halos naubos itong kanyang tinitirahan. Kung makikita niyo itong ground floor at second floor, naubos yan. Malakas ‘yung hangin kanina kaya inabot itong side,” Alumno said.
Beng Singson, a witness who lives across the street from Santiago, said her neighbors smelled smoke and tried to alert the other residents, including a family of eight.
“Ang umpisa niyan, nagkaroon ng amoy. Parang may nasusunog na papel. Tapos naamoy din dito sa kabila. Pinuntahan sila, kinatok yung gate. Matagal pa nga bago sila [nakalabas], kasi mga tulog ata ‘yan sa loob,” she said.
The fire was declared “under control” at 5:26 p.m. and was put out at 6:01 p.m. with zero casualties according to Alumno.
“I-advise natin sa ating mga kababayan na sana ‘pag ganyan, siguraduhin natin na ‘pag ni-repair ‘yung electric fan, make sure lang na bago natin kunin dun is talagang perfect na o nagawa,” Alumno said. F with reports from LUIS MIGUEL B. ARUCAN