2 killed, 1 hurt as firecracker-making areas burn

UNDERGROUND FACTORY

TWO persons were killed and another seriously injured when five houses were razed to the ground in just a 40-minute fire suspected to have been caused by mishandling in the manufacture of firecrackers in Barangay Bacayao Norte, Dagupan City at about 1:17 p.m. on December 14.

Fire Chief Inspector Bryan Pocyao, city fire marshal, identified the fatalities as Lolita Romero and Eduardo Romero, owners of the houses where the blaze started.

They were among those listed as injured and rushed to the Region I Medical Center with third-degree burns and died in the hospital a few days later. The other injured was Lorna S. Romero.

Pacyao said the investigation into the cause of the blaze is still going on but residents from the area were one in saying that the houses burned were operating as underground factories for manufacturing firecrackers. 

Initial investigation conducted by BFP Dagupan showed the fire started in the alley of the houses of Lolita and Eduardo Romero where black powder for making firecrackers was stacked. 

Other houses burned were owned by Eliza Calimlim, Carmelita Ricalde and Mereanne Cabalbag. 

The estimated amount of damage to properties are still yet undetermined. 

Pocyao clarified that per his office’s records, no person in the barangay secured a permit to manufacture firecrackers. 

Bacayao Norte is one of the few barangays in Dagupan City where firecracker- making is a seasonal source of livelihood of the people.

The fire was tapped out 2:00 p.m. that day by combined firefighters from BFP Dagupan and the Panda Firefighting Brigade. (Leonardo Micua/Butch Uka)

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