‘Birhen sa Fatima’ spares grandma’s house from fire truck kills onlooker

0520/10 - MAXIMA Genirale, 71 was holding an image of “Birhen sa Fatima” and a bible when the fire started to spread to the direction of her house along McArthur Boulevard, sitio St. Jude in barangay Tinago yesterday.

But she kept on praying and the fire spared her house.

Genirale said the “Birhen sa Fatima” helped stop the fire from spreading further.

Her house was spared, but about 40 neighboring houses were destroyed by fire, said Cebu City Fire Marshall Ismael Codilla.

Genirale’s house was about five houses away from the last house razed by the fire.

She said she has been a devotee of Birhen sa Fatima since 1986. Aside from holding a small image, she also has a big image inside her house.

She had lived in the area since 1946 where she gave birth to four children, three of whom are living with her.

Codilla said the fire broke out at 3:34 p.m. and was placed under control 40 minutes after. Firetrucks from neighboring cities of Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu helped put out the fire.

Children playing matches or electrical misuse could be the cause of the fire, he said.

Mario Nuez, owner of the house from which the fire allegedly started, was not around during the incident and failed to save any valuable.

But he denied that the fire started from his house as what Codilla claimed.

He pointed to the house of Mila Dosdos as the origin of the fire, saying he saw the fire started from the ceiling of her house.

Due to the conflicting statements, Codilla said he would invite Dosdos and Nuez to their office.

Codilla said most houses were made of light materials. The heat of the sun also caused the fire to spread fast.

Codilla pegged the damage at P950,000.

But at the height of the fire, four siblings and their neighbor who on their way to watch the fire were hit by a truck while crossing the street.

Jordan Delan, 3, died on the spot. Elder siblings, Jasmine, 7; Jeralyn, 5; and Jessalyn, 9, were confined at the hospital. Leah Jane Mandalones, 5, a neighbor was slightly hurt and taken to the hospital.

Giovanni Daidora, a resident of MJ Cuenco and Palma Streets rushed the four children to the hospital.

The truck driver, Rodrigo Salvador, 31, surrendered to the police.

The truck reportedly ran over Jordan and also hit the four children.

The truck with plate number GWB-245 belonged to Go Transport Services and was traveling along MJ going to Mandaue. When it reached the corner of Palma Street, the driver made a right turn going to the pier when the truck hit the children crossing the street.

The mother of the four kids didn’t know that her youngest son was dead when she accompanied three of her children to the Cebu City Medical Center.

Jessica Delan, 36 of Barangay San Roque, Cebu City said she told her kids to stay at home because she had to go somewhere. She did not know that they went out to watch the fire.

“I was told by my neighbors that my kids were hit by a truck,” Jessica said in Cebuano.

As the eldest of the four, Jessalyn recalled that she never thought the 14-wheeler truck would turn towards the direction at the Arellano Road.

“Nganong wala man siya kakita sa akong manghud nga kita man gani siya nako (How could he(the driver) have not seen my brother when he even saw me),” Jessalyn said.

As the mother was interviewed by the media at CCMC, she kept on asking where her three- year old son was. Little did she know that Jordan was already cold at the morgue.

When one of the rescuers mentioned that her son had already died, Jessica burst into tears.

One of her kids who was there in the accident also cried and said they only went out to see the fire. (CDN)

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