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Cellphone triggers fire in Masbate

LEGAZPI CITY – A cellphone that was charging was left unattended and exploded, causing a fire that affected three houses in Barangay Armenia, Uson, Masbate, at about 4:45 a.m. Friday.

A police report said the cellphone was being charged by a member of the family of Oliver A. Ocap, an employee of the Uson municipal government, when it exploded, causing their house to catch fire, which spread to the neighboring houses of Wenifredo R. Agarao and Estelo V. Pototoy.

An initial investigation of the Bureau of Fire Protection of Uson said the plugged cellphone overheated, causing it to explode.

The BFP estimated the damage at P515,000.

In a related development, fire of undetermined origin razed 34 houses in Purok 6, Barangay Bagumbayan, Masbate City, at about 2 a.m. Friday.

The conflagration turned the houses, mostly made of light materials, into ashes after more than two hours, a report reaching Camp Gen. Simeon A. Ola here said.

The report said residents were fast asleep when they were suddenly awakened by the blaze, sending them scampering for safety with whatever belongings they could bring. (PNA)