30 houses lost in Mandaue fire

THIRTY houses in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City, which were scheduled to be demolished this month, were razed by fire yesterday afternoon.

Fire investigators are looking at the possibility that an unattended ceiling fan caused the blaze, which damaged property worth P300,000.

SFO1 Nilo Cosido, fire investigator of Mandaue City Fire Station, said they received the call for help at 3:10 p.m. and raised a Task Force Alpha alarm after 10 minutes.

Because the residential area is located in the interior of Sitio Mahusay, Cosido said

firefighters had to connect hoses to reach the site.

At 3:48 p.m., they placed the blaze under control with the help of fire brigades from Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City, among others. It was declared fire out at 4:05 p.m.

Sitio Mahusay is one of the areas affected by the ongoing demolition by the Mandaue City Government. Many of its houses are built along Mahiga Creek, whose banks are supposed to be cleared of any structure as these are high-risk areas during heavy rains.

Boarding house

Cosido said residents believed that the fire started on the second floor of the boarding house of a certain Remedios Rufin.

Rufin told fire investigators that she was downstairs when the fire broke out. One of her tenants reportedly forgot to turn off a ceiling fan in his room.

“We will invite her for further interview to shed light on the incident,” Cosido told Sun.Star Cebu.

Narita Flores, 64, said she was tending her eatery when she heard Rufin shouting for help.

Slaughterhouse

The fire quickly spread so Flores was unable to salvage anything valuable. “Wala gyud koy nakuha. Unsaon nalang ni namo inig pasko,” she said, tears running down her cheeks.

The blaze, which occurred near Cebu City's slaughterhouse, alarmed Dr. Pilar Romero, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries. She feared an explosion would occur because the abattoir’s diesel fuel tank is nearby.

Romero said they will also check the health of more than 100 dogs in the city pound. “Init kuno kaayo didto. Among tanawon kung OK ra sila (It was so hot. We hope the dogs are okay),” she added.

When the fire was extinguished, an infant with a burn injury was brought to the barangay health center for treatment.

Jennelyn Cathedral, 19, left one-month-old Karina with her aunt to help her mother whose house caught fire. But the house of her aunt was also destroyed by the blaze.

Karina was saved but her nose had a minor burn.

“Na-anghelan gyud tawn siya (An angel saved her),” Jennelyn said.

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