CTU food park goes up in flames 15 people injured in school fire
Grace Melanie L. Lacamiento (The Freeman) - February 11, 2015 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Fire Department received the alarm at 8:18 a.m. The fire was declared under control at 8:30 a.m. and fire out around five minutes later

Senior Fire Officer 2 Tristan Tadatada, fire investigator, said that the fire appears to have started after a kerosene burner exploded. The explosion could have been due to a pressurized pipe that might have leaked.

Food vendor Arenato Catarungan, 41, who was using the kerosene burner when it exploded, suffered second-degree burns in his scalp, nape and back. He was immediately brought to the Cebu City Medical Center due to high blood pressure.

CTU student Charish Lynn Borinaga, 17, suffered first-degree burns and was also brought to CCMC due to smoke inhalation.

University doctor Rogelio John Villamor Jr. said Borinaga had stable vital signs as of last night, her condition will be observed for 24 hours. He added Catarungan’s condition was not life-threatening.

The eight other students who sustained first-degree burns were identified as Analiza Esplaguera, 24; Nympha Oybines, 19; Diane Terol, 16; Gracelyn Cordova, 18; Judy Ann Uy, 17; Epifanio Dayangco, 17; Sidney Patrick Casul, 17; and Marjon Banggo, 19.

Esplaguera and Oybines are taking up Bachelor in Technical Teacher Education while Terol, Casul and Banggo are taking up Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

Borinaga and Uy are Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management students, Cordova is taking up Bachelor in Secondary Education while Dayangco is taking up Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology.

Other vendors who sustained first degree burns were Fibua Lauron, 25; Jelly Ann Dedicatoria, 15; and Jenelyn Tuburan, 15. Janneth Tabar, 40, who is also a vendor, suffered from high blood pressure during the incident.

One of the school personnel, Clemente Español, 61, also sustained first-degree burns.

Villamor said that the 13 other injured who mostly experienced hypersensitivity reactions from the gas were immediately brought to the school clinic for medical treatment for their minor injuries.

He added that they were advised to go home around 10 a.m. yesterday and rest. 

“Allergic reaction sa gas. Mismo ang ilang skin nag-red lang unya katol. While ang uban naka-feel og gamay nga pain nga murag nag-sunburn,” he said.

Villamor said that the victims claimed that they heard two explosions before the fire started. The fire quickly spread, destroying 10 food stalls and damaging two others. Tadatada pegged the damage of the fire at P20,000.

Other students who were eating breakfast and vendors cooking in the area at the time of the incident were able to escape to safety. Students in the education building, which is next to the food park, also said smoke entered their classrooms

CTU campus director Dr. Segundino Cuadra said the vendors allowed to sell inside the campus were previously located outside the university before the clearing operations along the sidewalks conducted by the city government.

He said that they had an agreement that vendors can only cook from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., noon to 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. but some of them do not follow the agreement.

When before the university ordered its security guards to monitor if vendors stick to the agreement now they will no longer allow vendors to cook and sell food inside the campus because of the incident.

Dr. Victor Villaganas, vice president for academic affairs, said that they will extend financial assistance to the injured students for their medical expenses. — (FREEMAN)

ANALIZA ESPLAGUERA ARENATO CATARUNGAN BACHELOR OF SCIENCE BORINAGA AND UY CASUL AND BANGGO CEBU CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT CEBU CITY MEDICAL CENTER CHARISH LYNN BORINAGA CIVIL ENGINEERING CLEMENTE ESPA FIRE
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