Fire hits sugar warehouse in Victorias City
BACOLOD CITY — A fire hit the raw sugar warehouse and clinic of Victorias Milling Company (VMC), the largest sugar refinery in the country, in Victorias City, Negros Occidental on Sunday night, August 27.
Sugar Regulatory Administrator Pablo Luis “Paul” Azcona visited VMC on Monday after the fire.
Azcona said VMC will complete their assessment but he is positive they can open on September 1, adding that the fire “had minimal effect on the sugar supply.”
He added that he was saddened watching footages of the incident, “but I don’t think it will hamper VMC’s efforts to start the crop year.”
“In hardship, greater things come out, and I know you guys will come out better,” Azcona told VMC.
The fire allegedly started at the clinic and spread to the warehouse destroying the sugar inside.
The cause and extent of the damage has yet to be determined.
Victorias Mayor Javier Miguel Benitez, who was at the scene of the fire, said aside from the Victorias firefighters, fire trucks from neighboring local government units and the Amity and Chamber volunteer fire brigades arrived to help put out the blaze.
He and Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) thanked all the firefighters who responded.
“The damage is being assessed. We hope and pray that the VMC will swiftly recover from the incident,” Benitez said on his Facebook page.
The mayor said the initial report he received was that the fire had destroyed the clinic and about 60 to 70 percent of the warehouse.
A VMC statement said the fire at the VMC compound started at 6:40 p.m. and was contained by 8:50 p.m. Sunday.
“We would like to thank the fire dispatch units from Chamber and Amity, the LGUs from Cadiz, Manapla, Silay, EB Magalona. Talisay, and our local government officials in Victorias City, led by Mayor Javi Benitez, for their swift response,” it said.
“The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries arising from the incident have been reported,” it added.