Minutes after the country welcomed the first hours of 2023, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Operations Center received reports of four fire incidents that occurred almost simultaneously in the National Capital Region (NCR). The PRC immediately deployed its firefighting and emergency medical services to help put out the fire that broke out in residential areas and a warehouse in Tondo, Taguig City, Quezon City, and Valenzuela.
“Kahit sa celebration ng Bagong Taon ay handa ang Philippine Red Cross na rumesponde sa ating mga kababayan na biktima ng sunog at iba pang insidente. Patuloy nating imo-monitor ang pangangailangan ng mga biktima at sasamahan sila hanggang sila ay tuluyang maka-recover sa nangyari,” said PRC Chairman and CEO Richard J. Gordon.
The PRC dispatched a fire truck with three personnel to Barangay Sta. Ana, Taguig City after a fire, which reached the third alarm, engulfed a residential compound at 1: 08 am on 01 January. An ambulance with three trained personnel followed the operation to provide medical assistance to victims. The PRC Taguig Chapter also mobilized its Red Cross 143 (RC143) volunteers in the area to coordinate with the Barangay officials and City Social Welfare Development (CSWD) and monitor the further needs of the fire victims who sought temporary shelter in Taguig Integrated School.
Meanwhile, a second alarm fire hit a warehouse in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City at 1:11 am and a residential area in Paso De Blas, Valenzuela at 1:30 am. The PRC immediately dispatched an ambulance to each fire incident and sent trained medical personnel to attend to the fire victims.
Another residential area was hit by a second-alarm fire in Barangay 254, Tondo two hours before 01 January. The PRC deployed a fire truck with seven personnel and an ambulance with two trained medical personnel to assist the victims.
The cause of the fire incidents, the number of families affected, and the houses burned are still being determined by authorities. The PRC resources such as ambulances and fire trucks are part of the humanitarian organization’s national response to ensure the safety of vulnerable communities in times of emergency.