ROXAS City – The Bureau of Fire Protection’s (BFP) firefighting equipment here are obsolete and need upgrading, said Fire Inspector Kenneth Lester Gimotea.
BFP’s three fire trucks are already over three decades old. Its “most recent” truck was acquired 19 years ago yet, he revealed.
“It’s time to upgrade or firefighting equipment,” said Gimotea who has been heading the BFP here since 2009.
He also said firemen lack protective boots and jackets.
Gimotea issued the admission after Marilyn Cabaña-Pantaleon blamed the BFP for the death of her daughter Jacqueline.
The Pantaleon residence was razed by fire on February 16.
The firemen came 30 minutes after the first fire call was made, said Pantaleon.
Two neighbors of Pantaleon, Voltaire Bernardino and Antonio Felipe, attested to the delayed response of the BFP.
Gimotea, however, denied this. He said they received the fire alarm about 2:04 a.m. The fire truck reached the fire scene in three minutes, he insisted.
“I was willing to give up my life just to save my daughter. No mother could let her daughter die,” said an emotional Pantaleon in a press conference at Filamer Christian University (FCU) where Jacqueline, 15, was a student.
Jacqueline was trapped inside their burning house.
“I have a lot of dreams for Jacqueline. She was an intelligent girl, jolly and beautiful,” Pantaleon said.
Jacqueline was a third year high school student at FCU.
The fire may have started from an abandoned room on the ground floor of the house, according to Pantaleon boarder Rosalie Soriaso./PN
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