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UPDATED: Filipina’s hair accidentally set on fire during restaurant temp check

27 April 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

Restaurants are required to take the temperature of customers before allowing them to enter (File Photo)

A Filipino domestic worker had a hair-raising experience yesterday, Apr 26, when a female staff member of a restaurant in Central who tried to take her body temperature reportedly clicked a stove lighter instead of a thermal gun at her forehead, setting her hair on fire.

Susan Inog said in a post on Facebook today, Apr 27, that the incident took place around 7:45pm as she tried to rush inside the restaurant on Connaught Road, as she was in a hurry to go to the toilet.

All restaurants are required to take the body temperature of every customer who enters, in line with social distancing restrictions imposed by the government recently to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“Sinundan ako ng babae sa toilet, gusto niya kuhaan ako ng body temperature, so napahinto ako. Hindi pa ako nakapasok sa toilet bigla lang niya binaril ang forehead ko ng lighter na gamit sa hotpot,” Inog said.

(The woman followed me to the toilet. She wanted to take my body temperature so I stopped. I was just about to enter the toilet when she clicked a lighter used with hotpot stoves on my forehead).

She said she did not notice the staff pointing a lighter at her forehead.

“Nasunog ang buhok ko sa noo, sigaw ako nang sigaw kasi lumiliyab na buhok ko, mga taong kumakain nagsigawan,” Inog said.

(My hair covering my forehead was burnt, so I shouted several times because my hair was already on fire. The people dining there started shouting as well).

Apart from her burnt hair, Inog did not sustain any other injury.


“Buti hindi nadamay ang mata ko,” she said. (It’s a good thing my eyes did not get burned as well).

The Filipina said she quickly slapped her forehead forcefully to smother the fire. All the while, she said the restaurant staff stood by dazed, apparently too shocked to help put out the fire.

She said the female staff retreated into the kitchen after the incident, and refused to take off her mask. A photograph Inog took and posted along with her account of the incident, showed the staff looking very worried.

“My boss asked me to post [my story] so that we [will all be] aware of what happened to me and I don’t want that this [will] also happen to my co-Filipinos and all my friends,” Inog said in her post.

She said her employer called up the manager of the restaurant on Sunday night and they agreed to meet on Apr 27 about the incident.

Afterwards, one of Inog's friends said: “Nagpatawaran na lang po sila... nangangatog daw yung matanda. Sabi daw kasi sa manager wala siyang karelyebo kaya siguro [nawala sa isip] sa pagod. Naawa naman si Susan kaya pinatawad na lang nya,” her friend Yvetth Molejon said.

(They have settled amicably…the elderly woman was reportedly shaking (when they met). The staff reportedly told her manager she had had no reliever and was so tired she became absent-minded). So Susan forgave her out of pity.)

But before this, friends asked Inog if she called the police, and she replied that she forgot about it in her anger and confusion.

Inog said she cussed the staff and went out crying uncontrollably. Then she called two of her friends and they went up to the shop manager to report the incident.

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