A TWO-minute blaze destroyed 20 houses and damaged four others in Barangay Ibo, Lapu-Lapu City yesterday afternoon.
No one was reported injured in the fire and damage to property was placed at over P800,000.
The fire victims are mostly out-of-towners who rented rooms because of their work at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ).
Witnesses said the fire started at the house of Rebecca Amimita.
But no one was around because Amimita was in her neighbor’s house while her children were at school.
Because most houses were made of light materials, the blaze, which was tapped at 1:07 p.m. and raised to a third alarm, quickly spread to neighboring houses.
3rd so far
Fire Marshall Recardo Cornelio said an explosion of a liquefied petroleum gas tank kept local residents from trying to put out the blaze using pails of water.
All victims of the fire are staying at the Ibo Sports Complex and in the barangay hall.
It was the third fire to hit the city this year. March is Fire Prevention Month.
The first two hit Barangays Pusok and Mactan.
Yesterday’s fire and that one in Mactan were blamed on an electrical short circuit.
Fire investigator SFO1 Atilano Berido advised the public to unplug their appliances before leaving their house or before going to sleep.
Ammo at fire scene
Meanwhile, in the southern town of Malabuyoc, Cebu, police retrieved last Feb. 22 the charred remains of Jayme Anjao, 39, from his burned house in Sitio Palaypay, Barangay Tolosa.
A man, who came near Anjao’s house to feed his cow, found out about the incident.
Tolosa, an uphill barangay, is about 12 kilometers away from the town proper. The houses in the area are also very far from each other.
In a report by Jun Berongan over radio DyAB, the police also recovered one empty shell from a shotgun and two empty improvised magazines of a 12-gauge shotgun.
Damage to property was pegged at P10,000.
Police are still investigating why there were empty shells and magazines at the fire scene.