A DAWN fire woke 49 residents of Sitio Telecom, Barangay Casuntingan, Mandaue City on Christmas Day, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020.
The Mandaue City Fire Station received the alarm at 1:08 a.m.
Based on their initial investigation, the fire destroyed three houses and damaged one, said FO1 John Montes.
The fire was raised to third alarm at 1:21 a.m. and declared out at 2:07 a.m.
Damage estimates were placed at P140,000.
Montes said the fire started in a room on the second floor of the house of Cosita Geraldez. The room was rented by a certain Riza.
However, they have yet to determine the cause as the case is still under investigation, Montes said.
According to Casuntingan Barangay Captain Oscar del Castillo, Geraldez told him that Riza had gone to Lapu-Lapu City on Thursday, Dec. 24, to spend Christmas there. Riza reportedly told Geraldez that she had unplugged all the appliances in the room before leaving.
Residents in the area said the fire might have been caused by faulty wiring, del Castillo said.
In a separate interview, John Eddu Ibañez, Mayor Jonas Cortes’ executive secretary, said responders and firefighters were quick to arrive at the scene as they were on red alert.
That was why the destruction was not so widespread even though all the houses in the area are made of light materials, he said.
The blaze still displaced 16 families, who ended up celebrating Christmas Day at the barangay gym.
The mayor visited the fire survivors and distributed hot meals and food packs from the City Social Welfare and Services.
Ibañez said the City will also give financial assistance to the survivors: P10,000 for owners of the destroyed houses and P5,000 for the owner of the damaged house. (KFD)