Another fire strikes in Cavite ecozone
Fire gutted two factory buildings at the House Technology Industries’ (HTI) manufacturing complex inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone Authority (CEPZA) here Friday night.
Authorities reported no casualties in the almost three-hour fire that destroyed two buildings owned by SCAD Services Pte. Ltd., sister-company of HTI.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Charito Plaza said Saturday some 750 workers of HTI and SCAD were affected by the incident.
“HTI and SCAD will continue to pay the salary of the affected workers until they are deployed to their sister companies,” the PEZA chief added.
According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the fire started at about 9:49 pm Friday and reached the fourth alarm.
This was the second time a major blaze struck the HTI complex in almost a year after a huge fire leveled HTI’s expansive plant facilities to rubbles on Feb. 1 last year.
Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla rushed to the site Friday evening and assessed the situation.
Remulla assured the workers’ families that there were no reported casualties compared to over a hundred injured and five fatalities in last year’s fire that damaged about PHP 15 billion worth of HTI properties.
He also assured the affected HTI workers of financial assistance from the provincial government and the HTI firm.
HTI is one of the biggest employers in EPZA with 36,000 employees.
Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ) Administrator lawyer Nori Tañag said that the fire damaged two buildings housing the Spruce Cutting Area Division (SCAD) where the pre-fabricated parts of the house were assembled and exported to Japan.
Tañag said that more than 700 HTI workers and 200 other employees from SCAD might be dislocated from their jobs because of the fire.
He confirmed reports that there were no employees inside the building when the fire broke out and that the employees had already gone home by 5 p.m. on Friday
A fire also struck HTI Feb. 1, 2017. It was declared fire-out after two days.
Plaza said, “To clarify, there were no direct casualties in that fire (Feb. 1, 2017 incident) and everybody was able to get out of the building. Unfortunately six of the line leaders who saved their fellow workers and the last ones to get out of the building, later succumbed to complications from burn infection.”
Senator Richard Gordon tweeted that the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) National Headquarters dispatched two fire trucks and two ambulance units from Cavite and Pasay City Chapter Friday night to augment fire fighters to put out the blaze, bringing to more than 40 fire trucks from across Cavite that responded to extinguish the fire.
The fire was declared “under control” at 11:49 p.m. (with reports from Kris Crismundo/PNA)
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