Devastating Fire Guts Guimaras Old Site

Devastating Fire Guts Guimaras Old Site

“Devastating Fire Guts Guimaras Old Site.” The Chavez Building, a commercial building located at the Old Site, San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras, was devastated by fire on December 4, 2017. The structure housed 40-50 retail outlets selling ready-to-wear goods (RTWs), along with pharmacies, pawnshops and a bakery.

Devastating Fire Guts Guimaras Old Site

It took over four hours to bring the blaze under control. Sirens, a rare sound in sleepy Guimaras, the Filipino version of Mayberry RFD, were heard continuously throughout the early morning hours.

The Chavez Building’s owner is former Jordan mayor Crisente Chavez of Guimaras.

According to SFO1 Judan Animas, acting Municipal Fire Marshal of the Jordan Bureau of Fire Protection of Guimaras, they received a call at around 12:00 am on the commercial building.

The acting Fire Marshall reported that strong winds and the massive amount of RTW’s, slippers and plastics from the retail outlets fueled the vicious fire. The fire began in the middle of the Chavez Building.



 Photo source: Rmn Iloilo Facebook page

45 Minute Delay

Various accounts by witnesses at the scene report that the fire truck sent from the Jordan Fire Station took 45 minutes to load up with water before the firefighters could even begin battling the blaze.

Damages of over 21 million pesos were reported to “Philippines Plus.” Over 10 million pesos worth of damage alone were suffered by one retail outlet alone. The store had just purchased three truckloads of text books for the area schools the day of the blaze.

Animas declared the blaze under control around 4:30 am. The fire began in the middle of the Chavez Building. No one died or was injured in the fire according to the acting Fire Marshall.


  Photo source: Rmn Iloilo Facebook page

Cause of the Fire?

The Bureau of Fire Protection is investigating the cause of the fire. However, there are reports from vendors located at the Chavez Building that state the fire started in an ice cream machine located next to a shoe repair kiosk. “Bro,” the owner of the shoe repair business reported this information but it has not been confirmed at this time.

Did any of the businesses destroyed by the fire have insurance? Doubtful. According to one businesswoman, insurance is not even available to these outlets even if they wanted to purchase it.

Keep in mind, this is the Philippines, and not the United States, Canada or Australia.

With reporting from the Panay News



  Photo source: Rmn Iloilo Facebook page


Devastating Fire Guts Guimaras Old Site Casualty

Cousin Emma Suffers Stroke as a Result of the Blaze

Though no immediate injuries or deaths were reported in the fire, my asawa’s Cousin Emma, who was in her store across from the Chavez Building, suffered a stroke.

Cousin Emma and her family were frantically trying to load up all of their goods from their retail outlet, The Jade Market. Due to the store’s close proximity to the Chavez Building, there was a very real threat that her store could also be consumed by flames.

Emma was feverishly packing grocery goods when she suddenly collapsed, overcome by stress and the stench of burning plastic fumes emanating from the fire. She was quickly dispatched to the nearby Guimaras Provincial Hospital where it became evident she was suffering a stroke.

One of Cousin Emma’s sons is a nurse. He rushed to the Emergency Room where he discovered that his mother, who was having extreme difficulty breathing and swallowing, had not even been administered an IV yet.

When Emma’s son asked the nursing staff on duty “Why?” he was told “the doctor hadn’t ordered it yet.” She was promptly placed on an emergency pump boat ride to nearby Iloilo City.

My wife and her sister Alida recently visited Cousin Emma at her hospital in Iloilo. She has a potential life-threatening blood clot located in the back of her head.

However, the day my spouse visited her first cousin, she was able to speak for the first time since her stroke and is showing improvement.

Our prayers are with her and the family and with the business owners impacted by the fire. Cousin Emma is one of my wife’s favorite relatives and I’ve spoken to her on numerous occasions. An extremely nice lady.