Blackout blamed for apartment fire

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

RESIDENTS in Barangay 18 here blamed the rotating blackout for the fire that struck an apartment along del Pilar street late Tuesday night, May 6.

“The blackout shouldn’t be scheduled in the evening since it would be very vulnerable for everyone. Most of the homes here would have to use candles or kerosene lamps that are very prone to a large scale fire. Most of us here know that it was caused by a candle,” said Julius, one of the residents who helped put out the fire.

Manong Jun, another resident, confirmed Julius’ claim saying, “if not for the power outage our neighborhood won’t be in a risky situation.”


“It was good that the other buildings around have big concrete walls and the other side is an empty garden lot. But what if it had several houses which are using candles? I’m sure it would have been devastating. Why can’t they just have the entire schedule during the morning so that we could have a worry-free evening,” said Jun.

Julius and Manong Jun were joined by several residents in the area in expressing their sentiments about the incident.

Lina Uy, who was renting the second door of the apartment for the past three years, shared her dismay and disbelief.

“It was a shock for me and my family; I wasn’t able to save anything but just a few clothes. It was hard because of the brownout. We just heard people screaming that there was a fire and before we knew it we didn't save anything. I really believe that it was caused by a candle left unattended in the other rented door,” said Uy.

She said that most of the houses in the area relied on candles since the brownout could last longer than any of their rechargeable lighting system.

Superintendent Shirley Sausal-Teleron, Cagayan de Oro City district fire marshal, said the damage reached around P300,000.

“The owner of the apartment is Hipona Picar and we are still investigating the cause of the fire but we are looking into the report on the candle that was left unattended,” she said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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