Bayanihan water bucket relay helps volunteer firefighters put out Manila fire

Bayanihan water bucket relay Manila fire
Barangay 636 residents conduct a Bayanihan bucket relay alongside BOIDALE Volunteer fire Brigade Inc. Photos by Martina Torres.

The Bayanihan water bucket relay among residents of Sta. Mesa in Manila helped volunteer firefighters put out the fire that raged Sunday night until early Monday morning and depleted the water supply.

The fire broke out in a residential area at the corner of Valencia and Anonas Streets in Barangay 636 in Sta. Mesa. The Bureau of Fire Protection raised the first alarm at 10:16 PM on August 21, 2022, raised the second alarm at 10:20 PM, and the third alarm at 10:37 PM.

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By the third alarm, the fire had exhausted the water supply of responding fire trucks.

Seeing the lack of water supply, the residents proposed a bucket relay. A house beside the fire truck of the BOIDALE Volunteer Fire Brigade Inc. of San Juan City – the third truck to arrive at the scene – offered deep well water to help put out the fire.

BOIDALE Chief Renante Blanco quickly assessed the well’s water quality and ensured it was clean to avoid damaging the Pumper 11’s system.

As soon as the go signal was given, the residents promptly took out all the buckets they could provide and started a Bayanihan bucket relay while BOIDALE Volunteers took out their hoses and nozzle. The fire brigade instructed the people to form two lines and not panic for an orderly relay.

There were two sources of water supply in the bucket relay, the deep well and another resident’s own metered water.

Pails and buckets of different sizes filled with water were quickly relayed as if they were weightless. BOIDALE’s volunteer firefighter Andrew Tenedero organized the refilling of the fire truck while Mimi Escano and Rovie Parada held the nozzle directly at the fire.

The Bayanihan Spirit was evident as people continued the relay for nearly half an hour until the Bureau of Fire Protection declared ‘fire out’ at 12:42 AM.

The firefighters commended the initiative of the residents to help supply water. The brigade chief also mentioned that it was the least but the best thing that the residents could do since firefighting involves strategy and a plan of action.

The fire may have left the residents of Barangay 636 without homes but they still get to keep their innate Pinoy Bayanihan spirit that would help them endure and survive the challenges they face.

Filipinos are known to display their Bayanihan spirit to help each other survive in times of difficulty, such as when the Taal Volcano erupted and caused the evacuation of residents in nearby areas, and when the country needed help in hosting foreign visitors coming to the Philippines for the SEA Games.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the volunteer firefighters and residents of Sta. Mesa for the Bayanihan bucket relay that helped end the fire.

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Martina is an explorer, a film buff, and an avid pageant fan. She is majoring in Communication to one day work in journalism or a production house to tell stories about life, society, and scenic places. She is also an environmental conservation advocate and firmly believes in humankind’s role as the planet’s caretakers.