LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 15 9PNA) -- A three-hour fire broke out early Saturday morning at the Sorsogon National High School (SNHS), burning its main building in Barangay (village) Almendras Cogon in Sorsogon City, a top official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
Chief Supt. Victor P. Deona, PNP Bicol regional director, said the fire started at around 2:20 a.m. Saturday and razed the whole of SNHS main building as city firefighters were able to put out the fire at around 6:07 a.m. on the same day.
Deona quoted witnesses as saying that the fire started from the right wing of the building and moved so fast that it became so huge to be controlled.
A security guard stationed at the building’s annex said he was about to leave his post when he noticed the fire.
Villagers said dogs started wailing, awakening them in their sleep.
The burned building houses the classrooms of the fourth year students; the offices of the registrar, accounting, cashier, supply, guidance, head teacher, school library and faculty, and record rooms.
Fire investigators are still determining the cause of the fire and the estimated damages it brought, Deona said in a text message.
Fire trucks from the towns of Gubat and Juban and fire volunteers responded and assisted the city firemen in putting out the fire.
Sources who refused to be named, however, said it took the city firefighters about 45 to 60 minutes to respond to the fire alarm.
The Bureau of Fire station, according to the source, is about 600 meters away from the school.
The Sorsogon National High School, formerly the Sorsogon Provincial High School, located along Magsaysay Street, Sorsogon City, is the largest public/government high school in the province of Sorsogon.
The century-old edifice was considered as a historical landmark since it was used as a Japanese garrison during World War II and later converted into a school building.
It was destroyed by a fire in 1941 but was rebuilt on its original site after the Liberation.(PNA) CTB/FGS/MSA/cbd