An early Monday morning fire has levelled an elementary school in Tanjay City, Cebu – despite being next door to a fire station.
The school is next door to a fire station, and locals are bashing the firemen and their disorganization for not responding promptly to the early morning blaze.
The fire is still under investigation – the two-story Plaza Central Elementary School consisted of 13 classrooms and 4 additional rooms in all.
Local fire inspectors, along with the city’s fire chief, said the fire happened around 1:00 a.m. on Monday morning, engulfing the entire structure and other nearby classrooms and buildings on the property.
Locals are blaming the firefighters for not responding to the fire quickly – officials say that the response is due to the lack of drivers for the two fire trucks at the station.
Fire officials did say that a backup driver for the fire trucks was unable to attend to the burning structure due to lack of necessary skills to handle the large piece of equipment.
The city’s fire chief denied allegations by local officials that the fire trucks in fact were not running, resulting in the response to the fire.
Fire officials did note that the water pressure was ‘very low’ at the time of the fire.
Estimated costs of damages to the school have been estimated at around 3-million pesos – although further costs may grow higher due to equipment and school computers being lost.
Fire officials later in the day admitted to a “little bit late” response to the fire, saying that the trucks only held 1,000 gallons of water and were out in approximately ten minutes.
Locals in the area are adamant on the delayed response associated with the burning of the school, several saying that nobody responded in time to save the school from turning into a total loss.
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