Blaze levels 60 houses
ONE THEORY: IT BEGAN IN A DRUG DEN
Some P300,000 worth of properties were lost in the fire that struck Barangay Calamba, Cebu City early yesterday morning. Two theories: it started with a drug den’s candle or a man began it because his wife wouldn’t stop fighting.
A junkie sniffing shabu reportedly started a blaze yesterday morning, destroying more than 200 houses in Sitios Almacin and Alcica in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City.
SFO3 Lowel Opolentisima said they are looking into the report that the fire started in a drug den.
He also received information that the fire began in the two-story house of Eleazar Piloton, a former Cebu City Hall job-order employee. It was not determined if the house was a drug den.
Piloton was brought to a police station for questioning, but he was not detained as there was no evidence that he was involved in the drug trade.
Another information Opo- lentisima received was that the house was owned by Piloton’s brother, who is known in the neighborhood as Nogdog.
Police also rescued Michael Vincent Gingoyon from neighbors who mauled after they accused him of starting the fire.
After frisking him, Gingoyon yielded drug paraphernalia, which landed him in jail. He could not be charged with arson because there was no witness.
According to another report received by the Cebu City Fire Station, a husband arguing with his wife had threatened to burn the house if she continued to berate him.
Evelyne Peramen said she heard the man shouting that he would burn down their house and the woman dared him to do it. Moments later, the fire started. No one was injured during the incident.
Firefighters responded after receiving the alarm at 6:30 a.m.
At 7:46 a.m., they were able to stop the fire from spreading.
Damages to properties were pegged at P500,000. Opolentisima the fire spread fast because the houses were mostly made of wood.
Meanwhile, fire survivors who are subject to a demolition will be temporarily allowed to stay.
Atty. Meriam Consuelo of the Division for the Welfare of the Urban Poor said that there’s no reason they should be displaced.
She said they can still until the day of the demolition.
In his news conference yesterday, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the incident should serve as a reminder for the community to adopt preventive measures.
Residents, he said, should be educated on how to use fire extinguishers since City has plans to distribute these in all sitios in the 80 barangays.
Based on the records of Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, the fire affected 1,158 individuals, or 286 families, and destroyed 223 houses.
Some fire survivors are in the barangay gym, while others are taking temporary shelter on the grounds of the Remedios Parish on A. Lopez St.
EARLY START. Firefighters put out the last embers in a fire that hit Sitios Almacen and Alcica in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City.