By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A TOTAL of 24 persons were killed and almost P130-million worth of properties was damaged in 745 fire incidents in Western Visayas since January, this year.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) regional office records show that Negros Occidental had the most number of fires with 372, Iloilo 286, Guimaras 29, Aklan 23, Capiz 19 and Antique 16.

The biggest single fire to hit the region was in Bacolod City last November 2 which killed 17 persons, mostly children.

Defective electrical wiring is the most common cause of fires in the region, the BFP said.

Yesterday, two fires occurred in Iloilo City. The first incident happened around 3am when a blaze razed a barber shop and beauty salon in Yulo Street in the City Proper district. A faulty electrical wire is believed to be the cause of the fire which started in the ceiling of the barber shop, initial BFP reports said. Around 9am also yesterday, a fire also blamed to a faulty electrical wiring burned a house on 7th Street, Lawaan Village, at Brgy. Balantang, Jaro district. Damage was placed at P100,000