In Moalboal, Cebu: Couple, 2 kids perish in fire
Fire Officer 2 Gibson Hortelano of the Moalboal Fire Station identified the fatalities as Jonathan Masuela, 38; Rose Masuela, 38; Dyren Masuela, 14; and Jethro Masuela, 12.
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In Moalboal, Cebu: Couple, 2 kids perish in fire
Iris Hazel M. Mascardo (The Freeman) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  A couple and their two children died in a fire that hit their home in sitio Walog, Barangay Balabagon in the western town of Moalboal in Cebu around midnight Sunday, September 20.

Fire Officer 2 Gibson Hortelano of the Moalboal Fire Station identified the fatalities as Jonathan Masuela, 38; Rose Masuela, 38; Dyren Masuela, 14; and Jethro Masuela, 12.

Only the eldest daughter, Juvy, 16, survived after escaping through a window at the room he was sleeping in.

Quoting the boy, Hortelano said Juvy was forced to destroy the jalousie at the room because he could no longer go out through the door as the fire already raging inside the house.

Jonathan’s father, Juanito, told authorities that the family might have escaped had the doors not been locked heavily.

“Na-interview namo ang lolo sa mga bata, amahan ni Jonathan, nga ang origin sa fire kay naa sa living room, unya ang mga pultahan kay locked mao tung iyang pagtuo, basin mao to ang hinungdan nga wala makaabli ang mga bata," Hortelano said.

(We interviewed the grandfather of the children, Jonathan’s father, and he told us that the fire started at the living room. He believes that the children were not able to open the doors fast because these were padlocked heavily.)

"Ang sa kusina dapit, naka-lock na kay gabii naman gyud kaayo to… basin pud maoy reason wala gyud sila nakagawas dayon," Hortelano added.

(Even the kitchen side was locked and it was already very late at night so that could also be the reason why they weren’t able to go out fast.)

Juanito, who lives approximately 10 meters away from the victims’ house, said Jonathan was reportedly drunk that night, which may have also made it difficult for him to escape the blaze.

Hortelano said the interior portion of the house was already in flames when they responded arrived at the area at 12:04 a.m. and declared a first alarm. They received the call for help at midnight.

The fire was controlled at 12:10 a.m. and was put out about 10 minutes later.

Investigators are yet to determine the cause of the fire but pegged the physical damage initially at P15,000.

The house had concrete walls but the interior was made mostly of wood, including the ceiling and divisions.

"Then sa sala nga side, daghan ug appliances… puno sad sya ug fireload mao nang nidako ang kalayo," he added.

(The living room had many appliances and had many flammable items, which could have triggered the fire more.) — JMO (FREEMAN)

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