HomeDiocesan ReportsFire guts Ilagan diocese’s original cathedral

Fire guts Ilagan diocese’s original cathedral

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 Angobang, the parish priest.

Angobang 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.

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

Angobang 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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