A FORMER policeman believed to be under the influence of drugs has been blamed for a fire that hit Barangay Labangon, Cebu City, early dawn on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, which left 113 families and 460 individuals homeless.
Witnesses said the ex-cop, identified as Richard Sumalinog Tagadiad, set his house on fire while hallucinating that ants were out to kill him.
“Nangita siya sa mga hulmigas nagbitbit sa lighter kay duslitan niya. Nasugatan sa among silingan tama daw kaayo (A neighbor saw him looking for ants bringing a lighter and saying that he will burn them. He was so high on drugs),” said Carol Mosqueda, a daycare teacher in Barangay Labangon.
The fire which started in Tagadiad’s house at around 2:39 a.m. quickly spread to 80 other homes and damaged P1.5 million worth of properties along 229 F. Salvador Ext. Sitio Labsalex.
The blaze was put out by firefighters more than an hour later at 4:13 a.m.
Witnesses said after setting his two-story house on fire, the former police staff sergeant ran off and stayed at a nearby bakeshop smoking and simply eating “puto” (a Filipino steamed rice cake).
Neighbors who saw him there beat him up.