The Tagbilaran City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has ruled out arson in the fire that burned down a seaside shanty area in the city, leaving three persons dead and displacing over 300 individuals.
BFP Tagbilaran chief Senior Inspector Ben Bradpitt Lopez, in his report before the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Friday, said the fire started due to an unattended mosquito coil.
Initially, fire investigators considered that the blaze was intentionally started due to a quarrel which stemmed from a love triangle.
“Based on the evidence we’ve gathered we’ve come up with the finding that the fire was accidental and there was lack of evidence on the intentional side of the case,” said Lopez.
According to Lopez, the house in which the fire was believed to have started tested negative for “accelerants” which would have indicated that arson was committed.
Meanwhile, authorities found negligence on the part of Christina Arocha, a resident of the house in which the fire was believed to have started, and her boyfriend Argie Anito.
The three persons who died in the blaze were Arcoha’s relatives, Remedios Arocha Baluca, 50; Edgar Manzano, 50; and their daughter Meyer Manzano, 9.
Arocha and Anioto were the ones accused of having left the mosquito coil inside their room.
Both were charged with reckless imprudence resulting in multiple homicide and damage to property before the Tagbilaran City Prosecutor’s Office.
According to Lopez, the former live-in partner of Arocha went inside her room to get a pair of shoes she borrowed and saw the unattended mosquito coil.
“We have a witness, meron tayong love triangle, si Rey and Argie then Christina. Based sa statement ni Rey, pumunta siya sa bahay para kunin yung shoes na hiniram ni Christina then nakita niya yung naiwan na katol afterwards nangyari yong sunog,” said Lopez.
The city fire marshal added that they also received testimonies from other witnesses who saw that the fire started from Arocha’s room. (rt)