Fiery neighbor started Sawang Calero fire?-A A +A
Monday, August 19, 2013
AT LEAST some 252 individuals were left homeless after a fire burned over 20 houses in Barangay Sawang Calero, Cebu City on Saturday night.
Police also arrested one suspect, who reportedly started the fire after he got drunk and lit his bed inside their house on Magsaysay Ext.
Renato Romero denied that he was the cause of the fire, but he admitted the fire started in his house.
A call about the fire was received by the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) 7 at 10:20 p.m. and firefighters declared it under control at 10:54 p.m.
An estimated damage worth P250,000 was pegged by the BFP 7. Most of the houses were made of light materials.
As of Sunday, the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) listed some 252 individuals with 57 families, who were affected by the fire.
According to SFO2 Dindo Gabutan, all Cebu City fire trucks responded to the incident.
Firefighters reportedly had difficulty going to the fire scene because of its narrow roads since it is located in an interior portion.
There was no casualty or injury.
Sawang Calero Barangay Captain Benjamin Zabate said he will meet the barangay council and declare a state of calamity.
He said meals will be shouldered by the DSWS for three days and the barangay complex, located a few meters from the fire scene, would serve as temporary shelter to the victims.
Emma Cabonigno, one of the fire victims, said her neighbors who shouted that there was a fire outside woke her up.
She failed to save all her belongings but she secured her one-year-old child.
Cabonigno’s house was three houses from Romero’s house, where the fire reportedly started.
She said that hours before the fire started, she heard that Romero was arguing with his mother, Editha, in their house. She alleged that she heard Romero threatening her mother that he will burn down the house.
Romero, for his part, denied that he threatened to burn their house, but admitted they had an argument before the fire. He said the fire started at the ground floor.
He was surprised when barangay tanods apprehended him and brought him to the San Nicolas Police Station.
Police investigators said they will have to wait for the complainant against Romero. A case of arson might be filed against him.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 19, 2013.