Thursday, 27 December 2012

Fire razes 400-year-old church in CamNorte

The  400-year-old Saint Peter the Apostle Church in Vinzons town, CamNorte

NAGA CITY: An early morning fire gutted the 400-year-old church of Vinzons, CamNorte on Wednesday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the province said.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Vinzons town, in a statement sent to the Philippine Daily Inquirer through the PNP in CamNorte, said faulty electrical wiring triggered the fire that broke out at about 1.30am and extinguished at about 6am.

The fire started at the old convent, the BFP said, and spread to the neighboring church edifice.

Strong wind fueled the fire, which razed all of the convent and the Saint Peter the Apostle Church, the BFP added.

The PNP quoted Fr Francisco Regala, parish priest, as saying that the fire damaged old artifacts and documents.

Total damage was placed from P8 million to P10 million.

The burnt Church is considered the oldest in Camarines Norte and one of the oldest in Bicol Region and the country. 

It was built during the 1600s by the Franciscans.
Governor Edgardo Tallado, who rushed to the site of the fire, asked the fire marshall of CamNorte to explain the slow response which resulted to the burning down of the entire church.

Tallado said only the concrete walls of the church were left.
In a phone interview, Fire Inspector Salvador Arandia, chief of BFP in CamNorte, said he would also ask the BFP in Vinzons and Labo town why the response was slow.

Arandia said the fire truck of Vinzons was fresh out of repair and the biggest fire station outside of the town was that of the capital town of Daet - just 15 minutes or 7km away.

"The fire station of Vinzons is less than 100 meters from the church. I wonder why the fire was able to burn the church almost completely," Tallado said.

No one was reported hurt in the incident.

Clearing and further investigation are underway. - Inquirer/UPI


  1. Its very sad news indeed,, considering that this Church played major rule in the History of Bicol region, I was just confused how they managed to assess this priceless structure...8-10 million damage, eh they can never build a 400 years old church again for that amount, its built by time... and time is Gold.. plus the pieces of arts inside the church. Hoping for the immediate restoration of this PRICELESS structure..

    1. ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ,29 December 2012 19:03

      Priceless indeed, what got burnt was history ... they can reconstruct history but not the physical elements that built this church over four centuries... a painting done in the 1800 by someone famous then could easily fetch 100M dollars today .... this church could do the same... in terms of reconstructing it -- rubble by rubble, stone by stone, block by block... is it true that the adobe blocks used here were glued together using the whites of eggs? hah...! we lost history to that fire...