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Electric mosquito swatter burns down house in Ilocos Norte

Dead insect fell on rocket fuses stored in the open setting off a small fire

Gulf News

Manila:

A house in Ilocos Norte was gutted by a fire reportedly after a mosquito zapped by an electrical insect swatter fell on a cache of celebratory rockets stored by the house occupant for the holidays.

A report by GMA News said a residence at the town of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, was razed to the ground on December 21 after rockets stored at a section of the house had been unintentionally ignited.

No one was killed but two individuals from the seven-member household were injured from the fire.

Fire incident probers, led by Senior Fire Office 3 Rustum Silvestre arrived at the conclusion that an electrically charged insect swatter was to blame for causing the fire.

The fire began when a resident used an electrically-charged swatter to kill a mosquito.

The dead insect fell on rocket fuses stored in the open setting off a small fire that eventually lit up the cache of pyrotechnics, the GMA report said.

The successive ignition of the rockets eventually caused a large fire that eventually burned the house down.

Found on sale at appliance stores and sidewalk shops in the Philippines, an electric insect swatter is a device shaped like a tennis racket but instead of nylon strings for gut, it uses electrically-conductive thin metal mesh.

Used in a similar fashion as any individual would a butterfly catcher, the electrical swatter can kill several insects in a single swipe.

This electrical charge causes a spark that experts say, has the capacity of igniting inflammable materials.

Philippine authorities are tightly enforcing laws against the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnics. The latest casualties from pre-New Year merrymaking were six children in various parts of the country, the Department of Health said.

Last year, there were some more than 800 fireworks and pyrotechnics-related injuries according to the National Epidemiology Centre.

Of the casess, 793 (98.6 per cent) were due to fireworks injuries, 2 (0.2 per cent) from fireworks ingestion, and 9 (1.1 per cent) from stray bullet injuries.

The total number of cases (804) was 10 per cent lower than the same period last year which was 894.

Some cities such as Davao and Baguio have already banned the use of firecrackers by individuals and had encouraged people to collectively watch more safely organised pyrotechnics displays instead.

Aside from this, the national police had been making rounds of the streets with vehicle-mounted bullhorns warning Filipinos against the dangers of using firecrackers and pyrotechnics.

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