Dujo-Fatima fire: Two causes being eyed
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo, Alicia Chua (The Freeman) - January 4, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Investigators are now looking at two possible causes behind the fire that razed at least 46 houses in Barangay Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City, last Thursday afternoon.

Fire Officer 2 Emerson Arceo said the first is unplugged appliances which is the usual cause of fire outbreaks. The second is an unattended cooking fire, after witness’ statements that they noticed the burning smell of an overcooked dish.

“Usually pag ingon-ana na cases, mostly kana ra g’yud ng mga appliances nato nga wala maibot. Mao na usa sa atong usa sa angulo nga atong gitan-aw… Ang usa pud kay basin nay nagluto kay nanimaho man kunong paig, kay panahon ‘tung ting panihapon, basin nag-prepare pa to og pagkaon,” Arceo added.

Both angles are still being validated.

Arceo also said that their initial findings that the fire allegedly started in the house of a certain Judith Campaner was the result of a miscommunication.

This is after Campaner claimed that the fire started in someone else’s house and just spread to hers.

“Actually ilang Ma’am Judith g’yud ang na-igo pag una, siyay ni-disclose una sa amoa nga didto daw nag sugod ang sunog sa balay ni certain Lita,” Arceo said, supporting what Campaner told him.

Firefighters are now investigating the house of “Lita” to verify the claims.

Arceo also said they overestimated their initial count of the houses affected after the fire was placed under control. Contrary to initial reports, Arceo said only 46 houses were razed, affecting at least 126 families, and not 70 houses as earlier reported.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) said that they recommended to the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor for the re-blocking of the area.

Ibones also said that they still have to validate who owns the lot.

“Mao g’yud ang recommendation nato mag re-blocking, padak-on ang dalan, we will check the lot, amo g’yud tan-awon kinsa tag-iya,” said Ibones.

He said Mayor Edgardo Labella also told them to make sure no one will be displaced if re-blocking takes place.

“Order pud ni Mayor Labella that walay ma-left behind, walay ma-displace na tao,” said Ibones.

As of this morning, there are at least 440 individuals affected, but Ibones said that this still isn’t the official count because other residents are not yet back from the holiday break, or were not able to register in the DSWS list.

With this, Ibones is asking affected individuals to register with the DSWS to be able to get the help offered by the city government.

“Atong awhagon ang atong mga kaigsuonan, labi na sa kadtong nasunugan, duol mo sa mga DSWS personnel para ma-validate mo, kay kung dili mo magpalista dili sab mo mahatagan og kaayuhan, kay mao man among timailhan na nasunugan g’yud sila,” said Ibones.

Damage caused by the fire was pegged at P150,000.

The Cebu City Fire Department, said they received the fire alarm at 4:35 p.m., and raised it to second alarm at 4:44 p.m. At 4:49 p.m., it was raised to third alarm and to fourth alarm at 5:09 p.m.

Firefighters were able to control the blaze at 5:55 p.m.  BRP (FREEMAN)

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