Fire in Cebu village brings tough end to workday-A A +A
Thursday, September 15, 2011
CEBU CITY -- Fire razed at least 15 houses in Sitio Baka, Barangay Apas, Cebu City Wednesday night and left a part of the community in darkness after the electricity had to be cut off.
A female lodger, who works for a department store and lives in the area, was reported missing as of 10 p.m. Firefighters were relieved to find no signs that anyone died in the blaze.
Senior Superintendent Aderson Comar, the city fire marshal, said a child who suffered burns was reportedly brought by the Barangay Basak Pardo emergency team to a hospital.
He estimated the damage to properties at P350,000. The official said they still have to determine what caused the fire, which destroyed the houses made partly of concrete.
Comar, in a phone interview, said the blaze allegedly started in the house of Andres "Lodoy" Maga.
Before the fire erupted around 6:25 p.m., Maga's niece Lineth Baer, 32, said she was watching news on TV after she finished cooking some chicken.
She then heard her neighbor, Pepe, shouting about the fire.
"Nidagan ko pagawas nga nagtiniil (I ran outside our house barefoot)," she said.
Baer's clothes, documents, an undetermined amount of savings and her sari-sari store were reduced to ashes.
Sonny Aguillon, 31, said he was resting in his rented room when he heard Baer screaming for help.
"Gikan ko nangitag trabaho (I was looking for a job)," he said.
Aguillon rushed outside and helped put out the fire, but since the flames were already huge, he backed out and rushed to his aunt's house. He helped his 51-year-old aunt and her three children through the alleys toward the basketball court.
"Mga papeles ra gyod akong nasalbar (I saved only important documents)," he said. "Maypag nakawatan ta (I would have preferred being robbed)." His clothes that were hanging on a clothesline were also swallowed by the flames.
Aguillon, a native of Sogod, Leyte, said he arrived in Cebu last February and worked for a few months.
Several fire trucks from the Cebu City Fire Department and volunteers rushed to scene. After battling the fire for 35 minutes, Comar said they had it under control, meaning it could no longer spread to the other houses.
Photos by Ariel Salupan and Glenn Camay
While smoke still covered the neighborhood, Sarah Montalvo, 46, kept looking for her grandchildren.
She was cooking in a staff house when a security guard informed her about the blaze in Sitio Baka. She immediately left her work and went to the place.
When she arrived, she began searching for her grandchildren. There was no word as of Wednesday night whether they were found. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 15, 2011.