Mandaue fire: 20 houses burned down in village days before fiesta celebration
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A total of 26 houses were affected in a fire that hit a residential area in Sitio Abra, Barangay Alang-alang, Mandaue City, Cebu early morning Wednesday, June 28,2023.
The fire happened days before the fiesta celebration in the sub-village (sitio) in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
According to FO1 Cyrus Albert Ytang, radio operater of the Mandaue City Fire Station, the blaze left 20 houses totally burned while 6 houses were partially burned.
Ytang said that the damage to properties was pegged at around P495,000.
He added that they received a call about a fire in the area at around 4:48 a.m. from a concerned citizen.
Responders arrived to the scene and raised it to the first alarm at 5:02 a.m.
At 5:11 a.m., firefighters raised it to the second alarm.
It was declared fire out at 6:08 a.m., or 7 minutes after it was declared under control.
According to Ytang, the fire allegedly started at a one-storey house owned by a woman identified as Roda Bacol, 93.
He said that from Bacol’s house, the fire allegedly rapidly spread to the neighboring houses, which are mostly made of mixed concrete and light materials.
He added that the owner of the house told firefighters that she and the younger relative she was living with first noticed the fire from the ceiling of the house.
Fortunately, the victims were able to exit their houses and no one was reported injured, said Ytang.
Investigator FO1 Filward Morales, said they are still investigating the possible cause of the fire but he said that there is a possibility that it might be due to electrical defects based on interview of the residents
Incidentally, the fire happened just hours after a contestant of a variety show held in preparation for the fiesta on Saturday made a joke about a fire.
Jun Lumapas, a resident of Sitio Abra, said that during the variety show, a contestant saud “pamakpak mo kay ang dili mamakpak, masunog ang balay.” (applaud everyone because those who won’t applaud, their houses will get burned.)
Some of the displaced residents are temporarily staying at the Barangay Ibabao-Estancia multi-purpose gym, while some are staying at the Mandaue Central School.
Ytang reminded the public to exercise caution and be responsible in handling the charging of electronic gadgets in order to prevent incidents like this from happening.
“Magminatngunon sa mga ipang-saksak – mga cellphone, mga biyaan ra nga gadgets. Dapat igka-full charge, ibton na dayon. Og wala gamita, i-unplug. Kay kasagaran nga mahitabo karon, mostly related sa kuryente. So sa mga tawo, magminatngunon sa gadgets ug mga electric appliances,” he said.
(Be careful with gadgets being plugged. If it’s fully charged, unplug them right away. If it’s not being used, unplug it. Because what usually happens now is fire related. So to the public, be vigilant when it comes to gadgets and electrical appliances.)
And in the event of a fire, he is reminding individuals to immediately call the nearest fire station to ask for help.
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