Frugal woman dies in fire

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A 62-YEAR-OLD woman who often managed to pay only P11 for her monthly electricity consumption died in a fire that broke out in Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City on Thursday night, February 4, 2021.

The fatality, identified as Lulisa Cabaluna, reportedly often lit either a candle or lamp at night to save electricity as she was living alone, FO3 Emerson Arceo of the Cebu City Fire Station said.

A lighted candle or lamp, said Arceo, could have sparked the fire in Cabaluna’s house.

Arceo said Cabaluna’s neighbors and siblings had left the neighborhood before the fire broke out.

However, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) personnel went back to the area on Friday morning, Feb. 5, to check the damage. They later found the remains of Cabaluna, who was identified by her relatives by the necklace she had always worn when she was still alive.

The blaze destroyed 138 houses, displacing hundreds of families in Sitios Upper Sario and Ciwac, according to Elaine Gabutan of the Cebu City Social Welfare Services.

As of 2:19 p.m. on Feb. 5, the number of families and individuals affected by the fire had reached 200 and 866.

Arceo pegged the damage brought about by the fire at P600,000.

Initial investigation showed that the fire started in Cabaluna’s house, said Arceo.

The BFP received the alarm at 8:53 p.m. After nearly two hours, at 10:29 p.m., the firefighters managed to control the blaze from spreading to other neighborhoods.

At 10:31 p.m., the BFP declared a fireout. / BBT / KAL