Fire broke out in the interior portion of Sitio Mahayag, Barangay Paknaan in Mandaue City early Wednesday, razing around 70 houses.
Residents said the predawn fire may have started from the house owned by Stella Abad. The mother was not there when the fire broke out. Only her children ages 3, 4, and 11 years old were there.
For her part, the eldest child, 16-years old Jella Mapallo, said their mother went to a neighboring barangay to visit her sister. She, too, was not in the house during the incident but said that her siblings were all sleeping.
The fire was placed under control after 35 minutes.
"As of now we can't determine yet the cause of fire. We tried interviewing the children but they are still in shock,” SFO1 Socrates Nacua, Mandaue City fire investigator, said.
Displaced residents are temporarily staying at the barangay gymnasium.