4 hurt, with 11 homes lost in Bulacao flames-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
ELEVEN houses were razed and four people were injured when a fire hit Sitio Laguna, Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City yesterday afternoon.
Fanned by winds, while the firefighters scrambled in narrow roads, the flames lasted long enough to leave 85 individuals homeless.
A nearby public school, Bulacao Community Elementary School, had to stop their make-up class after the fire rattled school children.
Insp. Jose Laurito of Cebu City Fire Department said they received the fire alarm at 1:40 p.m.
After 25 minutes, the blaze, for which a second alarm was raised, was declared under control. The flames were put out at 2:54 p.m.
By then, however, an estimated P300,000 worth of properties were already destroyed. Investigators have yet to identify what caused the blaze.
Most of the houses made of light materials were wiped out by the fire. Two others were also partially burned.
Initial investigation showed the fire started in the house of Marilou Dejino, Laurito said.
Several residents told reporters they saw children playing with matches before the incident.
One of Dejino’s children, a two-year-old girl, reportedly suffered from burn injuries.
Macaria Bartobalac, 74, recalled she was inside her house when she heard someone outside shouting that there was a fire. She then saw flames that snaked inside her house. She ran away and wasn’t able to get her belongings.
A man identified only as James was also injured after he fell from the rooftop.
Meanwhile, Jessa Saducas, 10, reportedly broke her right elbow after she was pinned by a tricycle during the rush.
“We will still have to follow up these reports,” Laurito said.
Anita Villaner, one of the school teachers, told reporters they were holding their second make-up class when students saw the flames outside.
That was supposed to be their last make-up class after typhoon Pablo forced them to suspend classes last month, she said.
Immediately, teachers rounded up their students in the gymnasium to prevent them from going outside. Classes were then suspended and some students were picked up by their parents.
The City Government’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) will distribute packed meals to the victims. DSWS will also give away mats, mosquito nets, blankets, canned goods and rice good for three days.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2013.