MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — An estimated P300,000 in properties went up in smoke when a Ceres bus caught fire around 6 pm on Monday, May 23, 2022, along J.P Rizal Street in Barangay Basak (near Brgy. Labogon) in Mandaue City.
The Mandaue City Fire Office (MCFO) said it received the fire alarm at 6:42 pm and declared the fire out at 6:55 pm.
Zzanika Joy Chiong, one of the passengers, said the Ceres bus was bound from Parkmall in Mandaue City to Tintay in Talamban, Cebu City.
Buddy Alain Ybañez, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said there were 32 passengers on the bus and they were all safe and uninjured by the incident which caused heavy traffic in the area.
Ybañez said that the fire started at the driver’s side of the bus.
Senior Fire Officer 3 Edgar Vergara, MCFO chief investigator, said that based on their initial investigation, the driver of the passenger bus identified as Amelito Tanodra, told them that he felt intense heat from under his seat while traveling in Barangay Basak.
Tanodra decided to stop the bus and asked the passengers to disembark then opened the steel door near the engine. He said he saw the engine starter was on fire and the blaze quickly spread to different parts of the bus.
Vergara said they are still investigating the possible cause of the fire.
He said though that they have already asked Villacar Transit Inc., the operator of Ceres buses to pass a report of their investigation. He said they have scheduled the submission of the report for Wednesday, May 25.
“Gadagan manggud na siya (bus) once gani magdagan ang sakyanan, wala ta kahibaw unsay source of heat, kung nakaparking palang makaingun ta basig battery, so gadagan man tanan niyang kuryente nagfunction (sama sa) suga,” said Vergara.
The fire that burned down the non-airconditioned bus left estimated damage of P300,000.
Vergara said according to the Ceres bus liner, the bus which caught fire had been operating since 2010 and is supposed to be operational for up to 15 years. /rcg