Retired judge and wife reportedly among those killed in Mandaue fire

Grandson also missing in fire that burned at least 15 houses at the back of Mandaue City Hall

By: Norman Mendoza, Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | February 17,2020 - 10:02 AM

The fire scene in Barangay Centro in Mandaue City that reportedly killed three persons on Monday, February 17, 2020. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Mandaue City, Cebu—A retired judge and his wife were reportedly among those who perished in a fire that hit a residential area in Barangay Centro here on Monday dawn, February 17, 2020. 

Charred remains of a woman believed to be that of Louella Gestopa, wife of retired Judge Gerardo Gestopa, and another charred remain of a male who was beyond recognition was found at the fire scene when firefighters started investigating the area along Zamora Street. 

Read: Charred remains of woman found in burned down Mandaue residential area

According to Cesar Gestopa, younger brother Gerardo Gestopa, the 67-year-old retired judge allegedly went back to save his grandson, Gerick, 21, who is a special child.

Fire officials have yet to confirm the identities of the remains found in the scene and are still looking for one missing body as of this posting.

Firefighters investigate the fire scene in Barangay Centro, Mandaue City. CDN Digital photo | Brian J. Ochoa

Fire investigator Senior Fire Officer 1 Noel Codilla said there were around 15 houses made of mix concrete and light materials that were totally burned while five other houses nearby were partially damaged.

The damage is pegged at P185,500.

Codilla said the cause of the fire hast yet to be determined. 

Senior Fire Officer 1 Wendell Villanueva of the Mandaue City Fire Station, meanwhile, said in a phone interview with CDN Digital, that three residents were injured from the fire.

Besmark Lumapas, 38, suffered first degree burns while Ruby Buhawi, 45, and Kate Ramirez, 8, sustained wounds to their soles and feet, respectively.

Mandaue City Fire Station received the alarm at 2 a.m. Villanueva said the fire was raised to second alarm at 2:04 a.m.; third alarm at 2:32 a.m.; and 4th alarm at 2:41 a.m.

It was declared under control at 3:05 a.m.

The fire was declared as totally out at 4:10 a.m. or after 2 hours. /bmjo


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TAGS: body, dawn fire, killed, Mandaue fire, special child, wife

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