A fireworks store in Barangay Biñan in Bocaue, Bulacan exploded at 11:30 in the morning on Wednesday, October 12. The single explosion caused a fire that escalated quickly and spread over the neighboring fireworks stores in the area.
The fire spread and severely affected 10 fireworks stores, resulting to 2 casualties and 24 people wounded.
According to Joni Villanueva, Mayor of Bocaue, Bulacan, the fire was huge, and the fact that the affected area was filled with flammable materials made it hard for the firemen and first responders to contain it.
She also shared that 20 fire trucks were dispatched to the affected area, along with 4 ambulances to address the people affected.
According to the Bulacan Provincial Bureau of Fire, the fire reached alarm level four, and was only subsequently contained by 1:05 PM.
Fire alarm levels indicate what level of response the fire responders should take, and the higher the number of the alarm level, the more dangerous the fire.
Most of the injured people from the explosion were the bystanders in the area. Vehicles were also affected by the blast. Most of the surrounding vehicles were either wrecked, or overturned due to the explosion.
According to Mayor Villanueva, the cause of the fire was a chemical reaction caused by the rain reacting with the chemicals in the fireworks.
She said that the rain the previous night may have drenched some of the fireworks, and the intense heat of the sun sparked them aflame the next morning.
Meanwhile, store owner Gina Gonzales is still missing. According to witnesses, they saw her leave her store.
Bocaue, Bulacan is especially well-known as the Fireworks Capital of the Philippines.
Since the holiday season is coming up, fireworks manufacturers and vendors are priming up their stocks in anticipation of the huge holiday demand for their products.