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Fire volunteer who died from Pasig gas blaze to be honored

/ 12:23 PM January 18, 2017
Regasco LPG refilling station in Pasig City after blast-fire on Jan. 11, 2017--Jodee Agoncillo--Inq

The Flying V gas station on A. Sandoval Street, Pasig City, shows heavy damage following the blast and fire at the Regasco LPG refilling station last Jan. 11, 2017. The refilling station stood inside the compound of the Omni Gas Corporation.  JODEE AGONCILLO / INQUIRER

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and a fire volunteers group will pay tribute to a volunteer who died as a result of a blast and a fire that hit a refilling station in Pasig City on Jan. 11.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 18, the BFP and the Federal Union of Philippine Volunteer Firefighters will offer flowers and perform a water salute for Jeffre Eugenio at the Quiogue Funeral Homes in Pasig City where his funeral is being held.

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Eugenio died Monday at the Medical City, six days after he suffered serious burns during the gas explosion and the two-hour blaze at the Regasco LPG refilling station on A. Sandoval Street in Pasig City. He was a worker at the Omni Gas Corporation (OGC), which was adjacent to Regasco.

A member of the San Miguel Fire Volunteers, which earned him the moniker “San Mig Charlie,” Eugenio will be recognized for his heroism during the incident at Omni where he also served as officer in charge of the LPG-Marketer’s Association fire volunteer department.

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According to his brother JR, Eugenio saved 5 to 8 fellow employees at the height of the blaze at before he was brought to the hospital.

“I could have saved myself, but I did not. It will be on my conscience, little sister,” Jhen recalled his eldest brother telling her when she asked him why he didn’t just save himself.

Eugenio spoke from his hospital bed despite burns on his face, hands and legs.

“That’s how kind and selfless my brother was,” she said.

Zaldy Sagung, a fellow fire volunteer, described Eugenio as a silent hero.

“Jeffrey saved many people during the fire. He knocked on the doors to alert the occupants to flee. He was selfless,” Sagung said.

Liezl, Eugenio’s wife who arrived from Singapore last Tuesday, attested to his husband’s kindheartedness and passion for service.

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“Even when we were having our time together, he could not help but attend to other people’s needs. He was a man for others. I am proud of him,” she said.

Of the 21 casualties, seven are also fire volunteers, the younger Eugenio said.

Pasig City Fire Marshal Supt. Arturo Marcos said the BFP with Regional Director Senior Supt. Wilberto Neil Kwan Tiu would attend the wake this afternoon “to recognize his heroism and devotion to duty.”

Eugenio’s cousin, 28-year-old Romeo, also a worker at the gas station, died last Wednesday.

Most of his relatives are also LPG-MA workers who have been with the company for about nine years.

Six other victims of the Regasco fire have died.
The remains of the other victims, including those of Jectopher Caoili, 21, and Camilo Alcaraz Jr., 18, were transported to Isabela province earlier.

An investigation is still ongoing, with the BFP looking into all angles including “improper maintenance,” said Chief Inspector Anthony Arroyo, Pasig fire investigation head.

“We are still corroborating statements and findings. It’s hard for us as some of the victims are still in the hospital,” he said.

Marcos said they would check when OGC performed its last preventive maintenance. They will make their recommendations as soon as they finish their investigation.

Ronie Badidles, executive director of the LPG-MA partylist, said they would cover the expenses and extend assistance to the victims of the fire, including benefits for the deceased victims who had worked for a long time for the gas firm.”

“We will make sure all victims are covered, and then we will answer the BFP,” he said. CBB

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TAGS: BFP, fire volunteer, LPG-MA, news, Omni Gas Corporation, Pasig, Regasco
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