AS IF the lashing from a typhoon wasn’t bad enough, 23 fires have hit Cebu City in the 15 days after it was devastated by Typhoon Odette (Rai) on Dec. 16, 2021, compounding the misery of residents.
The Cebu City Fire Department reported that around P23.6 million worth of properties were destroyed during those 23 fires.
Prior to Typhoon Odette, at least five fires were reported by the city fire department.
Majority of the fire incidents in the city that occurred after the typhoon were caused by unattended candles.
The latest incidents happened on the last two days of the year in Barangays Quiot and Tisa, destroying nearly P2 million worth of properties after fire razed 42 houses in the two urban villages.
These two fires were the 22nd and 23rd fire incidents that occurred in Cebu City since Dec. 17, after Typhoon Odette (Rai) devastated the city and other parts of Cebu on the evening of Dec. 16.
The first blaze occurred in Sitio Obca 1, Barangay Quiot on Thursday evening, Dec. 30.
In less than 24 hours, a fire also hit Sitio Capaculan, Barangay Tisa.
The fires in the two sitios affected over 100 residents who will meet the New Year homeless.
Barangay Tisa was also hit by fire seven days ago on Christmas Day, destroying 20 houses in Sitio Mansanitas, affecting 276 individuals--and killing a 26-year-old man with a mental condition who had been chained by his parents inside their house.
Investigator Fire Officer 3 Emerson Arceo said the latest fire incidents damaged around P800,000 worth of properties in Sitio Obca and P900,000 in Sitio Capaculan.
Arceo said they received the fire alarm in Sitio Obca at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30. The fire reportedly started in the house of Janice Concepcion.
No one was around when the flames broke out. Concepcion, her husband and child were dining outside their house at the time.
Initial investigation showed that a lit candle left inside the house possibly caused the fire that razed 17 houses.
Firefighters controlled the flames from spreading further in the neighborhood at 7:19 p.m. and put the fire out at 7:25 p.m.
As for the Sitio Capaculan blaze past 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 31, it destroyed 25 houses.
Arceo said the fire started in the house of Roderick Monterola. Initial investigation showed that a toppled lamp ignited the blaze.
The Cebu City Fire Office received the fire alarm at 8:56 a.m.
Arceo said they had a hard time putting out the fire as the houses were located on the elevated part of the sitio. Firefighters had to connect hoses to reach the area.
Firefighters controlled the blaze at 9:19 a.m. and put it out 12 minutes later. (KAL, BBT)