5 hurt in fire-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
A FIRE hit 19 houses in Sitio Sto. Niño in Barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City, leaving 165 people homeless and five people injured.
Among those injured were SFO2 Wilfredo Ochas and FO1 Dexter Noval of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) 7, who suffered minor burns while helping put out the fire.
Residents Antonio Arasias, Marife David and Terse Cuadra reportedly sustained minor bruises while they tried to save their belongings.
The fire, classified as a Task Force Alpha, the alert level before a general alarm, was received at 10:13 a.m. and was declared under control at 10:36 a.m.
FO3 Emiliano Daño said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire department also has yet to consolidate the estimate of the damage.
He said the fire reportedly started in the room of a house owned by Vicente David.
Daño said that based on their investigation, the room was occupied by Jamaica, daughter of Vicente.
Jamaica had said that she didn’t have appliance in her room and that she was downstairs. The next thing she knew, her neighbors were calling for help because of the fire, Daño said in a phone interview.
Daño said 19 houses made of light materials were burned—12 were gutted and another seven were damaged.
The area, located behind a gasoline station, has only one pathway, which made it difficult for the firefighters to reach the fire scene.
All BFP 7 fire trucks in Cebu City and other neighboring cities responded to the alarm, but only the mini trucks could go near the fire scene.
Although the road was narrow, the fire scene was only 50 meters away from the main road where the firetrucks were parked. The water hoses were long enough to reach it, Daño said.
Vicente’s wife Marife, whose house was totally burned, failed to save their belongings.
Everything happened so fast and they could only run away from the burning house, otherwise they would have been burned inside, Marife said.
She said they had been living in their house for almost 20 years.
During the fire, a 72-year-old man was reported missing by his family members but minutes later, Antonio Acha was declared safe. He was rescued by his neighbor.
Antonio’s granddaughter Mary said they were worried because when they ran outside, they saw him enter the room to try to save some of their things. They didn’t see him after that.
Antonio, in an interview, said he struggled to get out of his house with the help of his neighbor.
Capitol Site Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon said a state of calamity was declared yesterday so they could tap their calamity funds to help the fire victims.
“We will give them financial assistance so they will be able to rebuild their houses,” Guanzon told Sun.Star Cebu.
Guanzon offered the barangay’s sports complex as temporary shelter for the fire victims, but he said the victims opted to stay where their houses once stood.
“They won’t leave their place, that is why we donated three tents for them to use,” said Guanzon.
Food and clothing were also donated to the fire victims.
In Lapu-Lapu City, a two-room daycare center was razed by a fire in Barangay Gun-ob Wednesday night.
A refrigerator that overheated inside one of the rooms reportedly caused the fire, which occurred past 6 p.m. No one was reported injured.
PO1 Adrian Yonting of the Gun-ob Police Station said nobody was inside the daycare center, located near the Gun-ob National High School, when the fire broke out.
Yonting said the fire was raised to second alarm but was put out at 7:10 p.m.
Fire investigators said there was an electric wire near the refrigerator, which had been plugged for more than a day.
The fire occurred while night classes were held at the Gun-ob National High School.
The students and teachers rushed out of the classroom. Night classes resumed yesterday.
Fire investigators estimated the cost of damage at P150,000.
Daycare classes were suspended yesterday because the fire destroyed all teaching materials.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2013.