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dalaguete fireIt will be a sorrowful New Year for the families of two houses gutted by fire last night, December 26, 2011 along the National Highway of Sitio Lalin, Poblacion, Dalaguete, Cebu.

The fire alarm, which allegedly originated from the second floor of Samuel Belciña’s residence, was received at 6:57 PM. The Dalaguete Fire Station arrived at the area two minutes later, only to find that the ball joint of the water tank cock malfunctioned.  FO2 Antonio Villahermosa, Fire Ground Commander of the responding team, sent the smaller GWEN Firetruck at the fire scene, but unfortunately, it too, malfunctioned.

The fire then quickly spread and razed to the ground the adjacent house at the left side of Belciña’s house, owned by Francisca “Paquita” Bejarasco. At around 7:25 PM, the firetruck of the Philippine Mining Service Corporation (PMSC) based in Pugalo, Alcoy, Cebu, around four kilometers away from the fire scene, arrived and immediately conducted firefighting operation.  At that time, the two houses were totally burnt and the firemen’s primary concern was to cordon the fire so as not to spread to other adjacent houses.

Dalaguete Fire Station’s Gwen Firetruck went back at the area some minutes later after the defective pump was fixed, followed by the firetrucks from Argao, Boljoon, Sibonga and Carcar City. Fire was declared under control at 7:17 PM, and was declared fire out at 9:30 PM leaving no casualty or injury except for an owner of an adjacent house that got fainted.

However, hours later at around 1:15 AM, the Dalaguete Fire Station was informed that the fire had rekindled.  They were able to put the new fire under control at around 2:30 AM.

Unofficial account mentioned that an overcharged cell phone or a rechargeable flashlight may have caused the fire.  The estimated amount of damage is pegged at around P1,000,000.

Meanwhile, a source from the Dalaguete Fire Station who requested anonymity pointed out that they did not expect that both of their fire trucks would malfunction in that they were still operational when they responded to a cogon wildfire incident just last October 3, 2011 at the back of the Dalaguete National High School vicinity at Sitio Cambangyao, Poblacion, Dalaguete.  The Gwen Firetruck was even used when the station responded in yet another wildfire last October 8, 2011 at Sitio Banker, Tapon, Dalaguete.

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