12 fires strike Cebu in 2-day period

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Sunday, March 9, 2014


CEBU -- Twelve fires broke out in Cebu in less than 48 hours to mark the first week of Fire Prevention Month.

In Cebu City, fire destroyed five houses and wounded a paralytic man in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Bulacao before Friday midnight.

The fire reportedly started in the two-storey house of Ernesto dela Torre at 11:50 p.m., said Senior Fire Officer 1 (SFO1) Lowel Opolentisima, investigator of Cebu City Fire Department.

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Flames were first noticed on the ceiling before these jumped to neighboring houses, damaging P70,000 worth of properties.

A resident identified as Francisco Lacno, 49, suffered burn wounds, Opolentisima said. Lacno is paralyzed.

The fire was raised to second alarm and was placed under control at 12:15 a.m. It was put out two hours later.

Opolentisima said they had difficulty accessing the fire site because it is located in an interior portion.

“Nangatkat mi og paril ug atop para lang makaabot didto (We had to scale a wall and get on top of the roof to reach the site),” he said.

Four grass fires were also recorded in this city in the last two days.

The first one happened in South Hills Subdivision in Barangay Tisa at 9:51 a.m. last Friday. At 2:50 p.m., another grass fire happened in Holy Name St., Barangay Mabolo.

The third one took place in Newtown Subdivision, Barangay Pardo at 6:23 p.m.

A rubbish fire also happened at the University of San Carlos-South Campus at 6:18 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, another grass fire broke out in Sitio Dosdos, Barangay Tisa at 8:56 a.m.

Opolentisima said most of the fires was caused by lighted cigarette butts that were thrown on the grass.

In Metro Cebu, the bunkhouse of Gaisano Fiesta Mall in Barangay Tabunok, Talisay City was damaged by a fire last Friday.

It began around 9:30 p.m. An unattended lighted kerosene lamp was reportedly to blame. Damage was placed at P3,000.

One hour before that, fire also broke out in Barangay Pangdan, Naga City that destroyed the house of Churchill Estella.

The fire was controlled in less than 10 minutes. By then, it damaged P300,000 worth of properties.

In the southern part of Cebu, two fires happened in Argao town on Friday.

The first one took place in Barangay Tulic after the TV set of Sheila Famat exploded at 12:40 p.m.

FO1 Diannah Dano of the Argao Fire Station said residents immediately extinguished the fire before it could spread.

Ten minutes later, a grass fire broke out in Barangay Talaytay. This was snuffed out at 1:40 p.m.

In Dumanjug town, a house was gutted by an unattended lighted candle in Barangay Kang-akton early Saturday morning.

Police investigation showed Andring Asintista was holding a prayer vigil inside her house.

She went out to attend to her livestock, but forgot the candle on the altar. The fire damaged at least P250,000.

During the opening of Fire Prevention Month, fire officials remind the public why many fires happen in March.

As March is the hottest time of the year, materials become dry and can easily catch on fire due to extreme heat, they said. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 09, 2014.

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