TWO elderly women were killed when a night fire hit their four-storey apartment in Brgy. Sambag 1, Cebu City at past 11 o’clock Sunday night, Oct. 4, 2020.
Firefighters identified the two fatalities as medical doctor Gleinda Mayol Neri, 80, and Francisca Fomentera, 71, both residents of the apartment situated on J. Alcantara St. in Brgy. Sambag 1.
Fire Officer 2 Fulbert Navarro, designated investigator of the Cebu City Fire Station, said they initially received the fire alarm at around 11:31 p.m. on Oct. 4.
Three minutes later, firefighters raised the fire to second alarm.
The fire was doused at 12:12 a.m. The damage was pegged at about P4.8 million. Navarro said they found the two women in Neri’s room.
Both women were lying in the part of the room that was barely touched by the fire.
Navarro believed the two may have suffocated as they attempted to escape the burning apartment. While the fire started on the ground floor of the apartment, Navarro said they couldn’t determine what caused it.
Emergency medical services attempted to bring the two women to a private hospital but they were dead just before arriving.
One of Neri’s househelp, Buena Cui, 69, was surprised to return to her employer’s house only to find it in shambles.
Cui said she would usually work at Neri’s house in the morning and would go home afterward. Cui told reporters that she had been working for Neri for 60 years.
Neri is survived by her three kids, all doctors.
Brgy. Sambag 2 chief Aileen Guardo told SunStar Cebu that she was saddened by Neri’s death as she had been considered a long-time resident of her barangay. (BBT / JKV)