New Year’s Day Fire: P1.2M worth of properties in Brgy Calamba lost
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Members of the Sasil family were celebrating to welcome the arrival of the new year when fire broke in their compound in Barangay Calamba in Cebu City at around 12:57 a.m. on Monday, January 1.
The fire, which the first to be reported in Cebu City this 2023, razed their ancestral home and damaged two nearby structures.
It burned P1.2 million worth of properties and left six individuals homeless, according to Fire Officer 3 (FO3) Emerson Arceo, investigator of the Cebu City Fire Station.
Arceo said they are looking at two possible causes of the fire: the use of firecrackers and electrical short circuit. He, however, clarified that the Sasil family did not light firecrackers during their New Year’s Eve celebration.
The firecracker, he said, may have come from outside of their compound.
“Kalit lng kuno kaayo to. Naa ra sila sa tungod. Nagparty sila unya mao nalang ila nalingian nga ilang balay nasunog na,” Arceo said.
(Everything happened so fast. They were celebrating outside of their home. They were having a party and then they suddenly noticed that their house was already on fire.)
The Sasil ancestral home was made of light materials, the reason why the fire spread so fast, Arceo said.
But Arceo said they are not discounting the possibility that the fire may have resulted from electrical short circuit. Since the Sasil ancestral house was constructed in the 1950s, it never underwent any major electrical upgrade.
“1950s pato nga balay unya sugod atong panahona, wala sad silay major nga gipatrabaho regarding sa ilang kuryente. Dako pod ang possibilidad nga ilang kuryente, karaan na,” he added.
(The house was built in the 1950s and since then, it did not undergo any major upgrades in its electrical connections. There is also a big possibility that the continued use of its very old electrical connections caused the fire.)
However, Arceo said that they are yet to confirm their theories as they investigate the cause of the Jan. 1 fire.
Arceo said the fire broke out at 12:57 a.m. It was placed under control at 1:09 a.m. and was put out at 1:16 a.m.
Cebu City firefighters, he said, were able to immediately contain the fire and prevent it from further spreading to nearby structures since the fire site was located along the road.
Meanwhile, Arceo is reminding Cebuanos to always exercise caution and to avoid the use of firecrackers during important celebrations. And in the event of a fire, he is asking Cebuanos to immediately call the nearest fire station for assistance instead of taking photos and videos of the fire to post on social media.
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