Coconut husk-burning incident triggers fire
A 63-year-old man sustained first- and second-degree burns when the burning of coconut husks triggered a fire at his semi-concrete house in Dandan early yesterday morning.
The victim, a Palauan man, suffered first-degree burns on his left hand and left side of his back, and second-degree burns on his thigh, left arm, and face, according to Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde.
Gersonde said inquiries pertaining to updates on the patient’s status and treatment at the Commonwealth Health Center should be referred to the CHC public information officer.
Gersonde said DFEMS received a call from 911 dispatch about a house fire in Dandan yesterday at 12:03am.
Firefighters from Koblerville and Garapan Fire Stations, Forestry 2 from Kagman Fire Station, and Forestry 1 and CBRNE Unit from Susupe responded.
Gersonde said the blaze was fully extinguished by 12:36am.
When medics arrived, they found the victim complaining of body pain. The victim was brought to the Commonwealth Health Center.
Arson investigators determined that the fire was caused by the burning of coconut husks—traditionally used as a form of mosquito repellant. The victim, who stays alone in the house, burned the coconut husks then later fell asleep. He was awakened when the fire had already spread to his house, which was made up of wood and tin, with concrete posts.
The husks were placed near combustible materials, which exceeded the height and width of the flame. The fire then spread to nearby combustible materials, Gersonde said.
The fire totally engulfed the house.
Gersonde said the case is closed because the cause was accidental.
Last June 26, the burning of coconut husks also triggered a fire to spread to a parked van and a house’s garage in As Perdido. No one was injured.