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EDITORIAL - Only negligence can tell

() - May 14, 2012 - 12:00am

Two recent fires in Cebu can be as different as they are similar. One fire in Toledo City burned only a single house. But another fire in Barangay Luz in Cebu City destroyed more than two hundred homes.

 But while the Toledo City fire burned only a single house, from among the ashes were recovered the charred remains of two siblings, aged two and four. On the other hand, as big as the fire in Cebu City was, not a single life was lost.

 However, the one thing that will forever tie the two tragedies together is the fact that both were apparently caused by negligence, negligence that underscores the reality that people never learn until it is too late.

 Negligence in the Toledo City fire involved the decision of the mother of the two small children to leave them sleeping all alone in her small nipa hut while she went after her husband who was out drinking. For light, she left her sleeping kids a lit kerosene lamp.

 In the Cebu City fire, the negligence appears more common place — unattended cooking. How many fires have been caused by this particular negligent act the authorities have probably lost all track of.

 Of course we can always challenge the heavens with possibilities, such that would the kids in the Toledo fire still be alive today had the mother herself not tarried for a few drinks of “tuba” with her husband?

 And in the Barangay Luz fire, how long can cooking be left unattended before it causes an accident and sets of am uncontrollable fire in an area so congested nothing is probably left unattended for so long from nosey neighbors?

 The painful thing about playing with possibilities is that nothing changes anything after the facts are all in. And the facts are indeed all in. The only thing left is to wipe the slate clean and begin to learn a new lesson. But will we ever learn? Only negligence can tell.

BARANGAY LUZ CEBU CEBU CITY CITY FIRE IN THE CEBU CITY LEFT NEGLIGENCE TOLEDO CITY TWO
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