By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---A quarrel between mother and son that started late at night resulted in a fire that gutted eight houses and damaged two more houses in Barangay Igualdad here at dawn of Jan. 1, the village chief told the Bicol Mail.
Punong Barangay Antonio Galido identified the arson suspect as Felino Bautista, 25, who had been quarrelling with his mother Arlene at about 10 p.m. on Dec. 31.
Galido said Bautista passed by the outpost at about 12:30 to buy liquor and then threw the bottle on the road.
He said when he went home 2 a.m. he heard people shouting that there was fire and saw the blaze at Zone 5.
Galido said the crew and personnel of the Bureau of Fire Prevention came after about 20 minutes but the water hose would not function until another fire truck arrived which finally put off the fire at past 4:00 a.m.
SFO2 Domingo Salcedo Jr., the fireman in-charge of the operation, said they responded from the report of the Public Safety Office of Naga City at past 2:00 a.m.
Salcedo said the fire reached second alarm until it was declared fire off about past 4:00 a.m.
He said initial investigation showed that the fire was intentional and started in the house of Bautista.
Like most of the urban poor areas in Naga City, the fire broke out in the neighborhood where houses stand close to each other and can be reached through narrow alleys.
Naga City Mayor John Bongat also said that there was possible case of arson even as the police are still probing and gathering witnesses to the case.
“This is not a good time to start the New Year for the families affected by the fire because it started at past 2:00 in the morning,” Bongat said.
He said the city hall will assist the families affected by the fire with food assistance until they can rebuild their houses.