Punta Princesa fire may have been intentionally set, says CCFO

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 13,2022 - 01:52 PM

A huge fire engulfs a residential area in Punta Princesa, Cebu City on Saturday, June 11, 2022. CDN Digital photo | Pegeen Maisie Sararana

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Fire Office (CCFO) may have reason to believe that the fire that burned down hundreds of houses in Barangay Punta Princesa on Saturday, June 11, 2022, was deliberately set.

Senior Fire Officer (SFO1) Wendell Villanueva, the information officer of the CCFO, cites two possible angles on why they believe  the fire was started intentionally.

First, he said they found out, based on claims of residents there, that one family living in the area had an argument because one member of the family was allegedly arrested for illegal drugs just a few hours before the fire started.

The second possible reason, Villanueva said, is that there might be someone who wanted to conceal whatever substance or possible pieces of evidence at a house that was subjected to a police operation on that day.

But as to how the fire started, Villanueva said that they have yet to specify as they continue to gather pieces of evidence and testimonies from affected residents.

However, Villanueva said that they consider Marilou ‘Marimar’ Alfeche, and other individuals, as possible suspects. They will file formal complaints of arson against them once they finalize their investigation.

Villanueva said that fire investigators have already identified the names of the other suspects but they begged off to disclose their names pending their investigation.

One person was killed during the fire that was raised to fourth alarm and lasted for five hours before it was declared “fire out.”

Villanueva said that a certain Ebert Feniza, in his 40s, died in the fire. He reportedly got trapped in a narrow pathway, where he was eventually found.

Also, at least 819 families were affected or displaced by the fire, leaving at least 3,000 homeless individuals. 

Most of the victims were temporarily staying at the Punta Princesa Elementary School.

Meanwhike, Villanueva explained why it was difficult for them to penetrate the area, saying the narrow pathways and the residents occupying the road were among the challenges.

The five affected sitios were Tuburan, Enriquez, Trinidad, Merco, and Arca.

READ MORE:

Punta Princesa fire intentionally set? 5 sitios affected, 187 families evacuated

Hope remains amid the ruins left by Punta fire

Punta Princesa fire victims need hygiene kits, milk, diapers

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TAGS: Cebu City, Cebu City Fire office, five sitios, intentional, Punta fire
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