PH Air Force conducts aerial firefighting in Tondo blaze

Published April 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) deployed a Bell helicopter which performed heli-bucket operations to assist firefighters in putting out a fire that ravaged a slum area in Tondo, Manila on Saturday morning.

Residents along with firefighters, try to extinguish a fire that razed shanties at Happyland, Tondo on Saturday. the fire reached Task Force Bravo. (Photo by Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)
Residents along with firefighters, try to extinguish a fire that razed shanties at Happyland, Tondo on Saturday. the fire reached Task Force Bravo. (Photo by Jansen Romero / MANILA BULLETIN)

The fire started at “Happyland” at exactly 7:28 a.m., according to emergency dispatch server TXTFire Philippines.

The fire quickly spread as houses in the area were made of light materials, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Thirty minutes later, the BFP raised the alarm to mid-level or Task Force Alpha, calling for the immediate response of at least 15 firetrucks.

However, there were limited firetrucks available at the time, according to Major Aristedes Galang, PAF spokesperson, so they were tapped to help in the firefight.

He said they coordinated with the Manila City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) and local fire responders as they dispatched a single unit of Bell 2015-A #312 from the 505th Search and Rescue Group (SRG) under the Air Mobility Command.

The 505th SRG pilots and crew took off at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City and performed three sorties of heli-bucket operations over the affected areas.

This is achieved by attaching a specialised bucket to the tail end of the aircraft using a cable carrier for aerial firefighting.

“With the skills and instantaneous reaction of the pilots and crew, the PAF was able to provide a hand to the ground firefighters in extinguishing the fire,” Galang said.

The fire was declared under control at 9:37 a.m. by authorities. Four minutes later, it was completely put out.

Around 450 families were rendered homeless by the fire, according to authorities.

It will be a challenge for the residents who lost their homes and properties to the blaze, especially since an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is being implemented to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The BFP has yet to determine the cause of fire, the extent of damage in the area, and if there were any casualties.

 
CLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
 

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

["news","news"]
[2019555,2875347,2875344,2875326,2875321,2875294,2875288]