Duljo Fatima blaze razes 70 houses, displaces 400 persons

A DAY after 19-year-old Crisandy Muños and her family celebrated to usher in the new year, she woke up to a nightmare.

Flames from the fire that struck her neighborhood of Sitio C. Padol in Barangay Duljo Fatima in Cebu City at 4:35 p.m. Thursday were closing in on their house where she and most of the 12 members of her family were fast asleep, exhausted from the New Year’s Eve revelry, when the commotion outside roused her from her slumber.

“It was also a good thing that some neighbors made sure we knew that there was a fire and it was fast approaching. We immediately gathered the children and grabbed some clothes and ran for cover,” Muños said in Cebuano.

The fire razed 70 houses and displaced close to 400 persons, including the Muños family.

According to Fire Senior Insp. Arnel Abella, ground commander of the Cebu City Fire Station, they’re still investigating reports that the fire started in the house owned by Judith Campaner.

No one was home as the Campaner family was believed to have gone on vacation.

“We’re still looking into what caused the blaze,” Abella said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

The fire was raised to fourth alarm at 5:09 p.m. and declared under control at 5:55 p.m.

When Abella was interviewed past 6 p.m., he and his men were still verifying reports that one person was missing.

A teen who started hyperventilating was rushed to the hospital.

Damage to properties was placed at P150,000 since the razed houses were made of light materials.

Muños said she was grateful that she and her family made it out alive. The fire was about to engulf their house when firefighters arrived. (FMD, BBT / PJB)