MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – Fire razed at least 200 stalls in the public market of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Wednesday evening.
Some stall owners said the fire started in a cafeteria at the back portion of the market at around 10 p.m. Authorities have yet to determine what caused the blaze.
Datu Odin Sinsuat Mayor Lester Sinsuat castigated the town's fire bureau after he learned that its lone fire truck remained unrepaired after it broke down four months ago.
"Sana mabigyan ng leksyon ang pamunuan ng BFP-ARMM (Bureau of Fire Protection – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). Hindi pina-ayos ang sirang fire truck. Saan nila pinunta ang pera?" said Sinsuat.
The mayor said said the fire could have been prevented from getting bigger if there was another standby fire truck.
Due to the massive fire, the local government asked for help from the provincial, regional and even the national government.
The fire occurred as the town looks to celebrate its 18th founding anniversary this Saturday.
The damage from the fire was pegged at P200 million.