February 9, 2023

Neighbors came to the aid of the 16 families who were displaced during a fire that razed two residential houses on Aug. 24 in Lubas, La Trinidad, Benguet.
La Trinidad Fire Station Marshall SF/Insp. Mark Anthony Dangatan said Lubas punong barangay Roger Angel has coordinated with community residents to assist the displaced families who were unhurt during the fire incident.
Dangatan said the fire started at the third floor of the residential house of Reynaldo Velasco, which was made of pinewood and galvanized materials. Part of the house is being rented out to some of the affected families.
The fire, which was reported to by a concerned citizen at 6:02 p.m., quickly spread to the nearby house of Esther Tao-ey until fire fighters and civilian volunteers controlled the fire after less than three hours.
Firefighters from the La Trinidad Fire Station, together with personnel from Irisan Fire Station in Baguio City, Tublay Fire Station, Sunshine Fire volunteers, La Trinidad Water District, Nestor B. Fongwan Guada Waters, and Water Gold Puguis responded to the fire site.
Based on initial investigation, Dangatan has cited Velasco stating that the boarders at the third floor went back to their home province and that the latter has been regularly checking the area prior to the incident.
Dangatan said investigators are still establishing what caused the fire while the estimated cost of damage was pegged at more than P7 million.
La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda said the Municipal Social Welfare Development Office is assisting the affected families.
“We gave relief goods and some financial assistance to the owners of the houses. We would like to thank the adjacent boarders and neighbors who sheltered the displaced individuals,” Salda said.
The fire incident made the local government to consider funding the proposed instillation of fire hydrants in the densely populated area.
Since January this year, 32 fires were recorded in La Trinidad. The current fire incident is the third this August.
To those willing to help the families, donations may be brought to the community kitchen at City Hall or at the Lubas barangay hall. – Ofelia C. Empian