Boy loses parents, siblings, house to Moalboal fire
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A midnight fire in Barangay Balabagon, Moalboal town in southern Cebu razed a one-story house and orphaned a 16-year-old boy, who lost his parents and his two siblings to the deadly blaze.
Juvy Mansuela survived the September 20 midnight fire after he destroyed the window of his room and escaped from the raging blaze, said Fire Officer 2 Gibson Hortelano of the Moalboal Fire Station.
But the other members of the Mansuela family, who were staying in a separate room, were not so lucky and they perished in the fire.
Hortelano identified them as the father, Jonathan, 38; the mother, Rose, 38; the sister, Dyren, 14; and the brother, Jethro, 12.
Juvy was staying alone in a one room while his parents and siblings were staying in another room of the house.
Juvy is left with only a sibling, the youngest of the family, nine-year-old Jhelsie, who was staying in the house of their grandfather at the time of the tragic fire.
Initial investigation showed that the fire started from the living room of the two bedroom house.
This was affirmed by the grandfather of Juvy, the father of Juvy’s father, to the fire investigators.
The grandfather also believed that the room, where Juvy’s parents and siblings were, was locked at the time of the fire and that was the reason they failed to escape from it.
“Na interview namo ang lolo sa mga bata, amahan ni Jonathan, nga ang origin sa fire kay naa sa living room, unya ang mga pultahan kay locked. Mao tung iyang pagtuo basin mao tu ang hinungdan nga wala makaabli ang mga bata,” said Hortelano.
(We interviewed the grandfather of the children, who is the father of Jonathan, that the fire started in the living room, and the room where the four family members were staying were locked. That is why he believed that that was the reason the children could not open the door.)
Fire investigators, however, have yet to determine the cause of the fire.
Juvy, for his part, told fire investigators that he was awakened by a noise in the living room and got up to check what it was.
But when he opened the door, he saw that the living room was already on fire.
He then hurriedly closed the door and went to the window and destroyed it and escaped.
Neighbors of the Mansuela family also told fire investigators that they only noticed the fire when it was already big.
Hortelano said that the fire was reported at midnight, put under control at 12:10 a.m. and was declared fire-out at around 12:19 a.m.
He said that with the house made of light materials, the estimated damage to property was placed at P15,000./dbs
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