Residents cutoff COWD hoses to extinguish fire

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Friday, May 2, 2014


RESIDENTS did not mind if they were violating a law when they cutoff hoses belonging to the Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) just so they could help put out the fire that struck Zone 8 in Barangay Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City Thursday morning.

Before firefighters arrived, Maryjane Tangkilan’s neighbors were already dousing the burning boarding house she owned with pails of water and the cut COWD hoses.

Allan Chiva, a neighbor, said that while they were trying to run away from the fire some of the residents were helping extinguish the blaze.

Because of the neighbors’ initiative and quick response, the fire was almost put off minutes later when the responders arrived.

The city fire station said the fire started at 11:20 a.m. and was declared ‘fireout’ by 11:30 a.m.

There were 28 tenants living in the house including individuals and families and homeowners, said Raymond Adlaon of the Barangay Action Center in Cugman.

Robert Dumagit, a tenant, said that he was only able to save his television.

When the fire started, he was watching TV at the first floor. They tried to get in the second floor to extinguish the fire, but they cannot get in because the doors were locked.

Another boarder, Pepe Moreno, 57, a flower vendor, was the only one hurt during the fire, acquiring an abrasion on the right forearm caused by a wire.

When the fire started, Moreno said was doing his laundry outside the house.

Michael Gorra, 27, son of the owner of the house, said that their mother still does not know yet about the fire for fear she might get a heart attack.

On Thursday afternoon, residents had cleared down the rubble from the fire scene to prevent possible debris from falling on to passersby.

Adlaon said the victims of the fire are temporarily sheltered at Cugman Elementary School.

The victims will also be given assistance from City Social Welfare and Development while the city fire department is still investigating the cause of the blaze and the cost of damages.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 02, 2014.

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