Fire guts Ilagan diocese’s original cathedral

Fire guts Ilagan diocese’s original cathedral

Firefighters try to put out a fire at the St. Ferdinand Parish Church Proto-Cathedral in Ilagan City on April 22, 2024. PHOTO FROM ILAGAN CITY COUNCILOR JAYVE DIAZ’S FACEBOOK PAGE

By CBCP News

April 22, 2024

Ilagan City

A massive fire engulfed the Ilagan diocese’s original cathedral while it was undergoing initial renovations Monday.

The fire damaged ‘everything’ inside the 17th-century church, even causing a large portion of its roof to collapse.

“The fire ravaged everything,” said Fr. Ric-Zeus Angobung, the parish priest.

Angobung said he was outside the parish when the fire broke out, but reports reaching him revealed the fire started at about 11:40 a.m.

Firefighters rushed to contain the fire which was extinguished after about an hour.

While authorities are probing the cause of the incident, the priest said the fire occurred while workers were installing steel trusses on the church’s ceiling.

He said that work was underway to install ceiling fans inside the church — their first major project since he assumed the parish in August 2023.

“So this happened while there’s an ongoing reinforcement of the ceiling of the parish church,” Angobung said.

The St. Ferdinand Parish Church in IIagan City became the diocese’s first cathedral when Ilagan was established as a diocese in 1970.

A new cathedral was built at its current location in Isabela province’s Gamu town in early 2000.

Angobung appealed to parishioners for their continued prayers.

“Nobody wants this (to happen), but we can surrender to God’s mercy and rise from these ashes, and work together to rebuild it,” he said.


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