BACOLOD City, Nov. 8, 2011?A fire caused by faulty electrical wiring gutted a parochial school in Bacolod diocese leaving its 430 students without classrooms.
On October 27, the Our Lady of Lourdes Academy in Pulupandan was razed to the ground due to electrical wirings that was traced to the house of the school’s caretaker adjacent to the school building.
The caretaker apparently left his electric fan unplugged when he went out of the house. The faulty wiring overheated the fan which burst into flames.
Although the entire building was destroyed, the computer room was spared. Estimated loss was set at P4 million.
Bacolod Bishop Vicente M. Navarra, who immediately visited the school after being notified of the fire, had issued a circular asking the public to help rebuild the school.
The school is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
While the destruction might be seen as a tragedy, it can also be seen from the eyes of faith and charity – an opportunity for people of generous heart, modelled after that of Jesus who described His followers as those who suffer and those who are in need.
The fire happened the night after the Diocesan Pastoral Assembly which ended with commitment from the participants to be generous in giving their time, energy and temporal wealth to those in need.
Fr. Tomas Rito, parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Pulupandan, said that the nearby church and convent were spared from the fire, but almost the entire school was beyond use.
Although the school is small by population standards, it is big in service and ministering to the needs of its students.
It teaches not only academic subjects, but also preaches the Gospel to a large segment of population who are non Catholics, who send their children to study in the parochial school.
Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña immediately offered the town’s newly-inaugurated gym for temporary classrooms, and spaces in the nearby Pulupandan East Elementary School. He also made available some empty offices for provisional classrooms.
Fr. Rito said they will try to repair and repaint some of the steel chairs so that they can be used again, but said there will be a need for more chairs.
Fr. Hubert Javellana, director of the Pax Catholic College in La Carlota City, has offered to lend some of their chairs. (Modesto Sa-ono/Fr. Mickey Cardenas)