Fire in Makati City blamed on ‘pulutan’
For want of “pulutan” for a drinking spree, part of a neighborhood was lost.
Investigators are looking at the possibility that an unattended stove was to blame for a fire that left 37 families homeless in Makati City just a few days before Christmas.
SFO1 Reynaldo Gonzales, arson investigator of the Makati police, said the angle cropped up after Ricky Espinola—president of the compound in Barangay Palanan that was struck by a blaze on Tuesday night—told authorities that he heard something go off inside Jaime Minaling’s house.
At that time, Espinola said he was having drinks with Minaling and several other men. Minaling, however, excused himself to check on the pulutan (finger food) he was cooking for their drinking spree inside his house on Enrique corner Diesel Streets.
Espinola told the police that he heard the bang coming from Minaling’s house just moments after the latter returned to their table.
“Espinola said he then saw there was fire in Minaling’s kitchen on the ground floor of his house,” Gonzales said.
According to the investigator, they have yet to ask Minaling about Espinola’s claim as the former has not been seen since the blaze broke out in the neighborhood at 9:26 p.m. Tuesday.
“Of course he is probably scared. But hopefully within this day or the next, he will surface,” Gonzales said.
Asked if Minaling may be held criminally liable for the incident, Gonzales replied: “He could if it was intentional. But if it appears [to be] an accident, maybe not.”
The fire which reached the third alarm spread quickly to 17 other houses made of light materials.
Gonzales said it left 37 families homeless and around P150,000 worth of damage to property.
While the streets in the area were wide enough to accommodate the responding fire trucks, Gonzales said the blaze was already raging when they got to the area because the people in the compound did not immediately alert them.
The fire was finally put out at 10:15 p.m.