Fire disrupts wedding party, burns 16 houses-A A +A
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
CEBU CITY -- What started as a romantic day for a couple turned into a hectic one, when a fire in Barangay Bulacao-Pardo in this city cut short their wedding reception.
Newlyweds Dionisio and Ana Marie Marimon helped put out the fire while still wearing their wedding finery Monday afternoon in Sitio Renaissance.
It took firefighters 24 minutes to get the flames under control, after receiving the alarm at 3:38 p.m. Investigators still have to confirm what caused it.
Sixteen houses were totally burned while four houses were damaged. Some 20 families or nearly 70 individuals were left homeless.
The Department of Social Welfare and Services was still gathering the names of the fire victims on Monday.
Among the houses burned was that of SPO1 Fortunato Manilap, who is assigned to the Public Safety Battalion of the Cebu City Police Office.
His M16 rifle and five magazines melted in the heat.
No one died, but a fire brigade volunteer, Reynaldo Alegarbes, sustained bruises while trying to fight the flames.
Dionisio and Ana Marie, whose house the fire damaged, said they had just arrived from church after their wedding and were about to start the reception at home, when they heard neighbors shouting about a fire.
“Niingon ra man unta to sila nga ang sunog tua ra daw sa unahan, pero pagtan-aw namo, naa na man diay sa among balay mao nga nag-iyahay an mi’g dagan (They said the fire was some distance away, but when we looked, the flames had reached our house, so we all ran away),” narrated Ana Marie.
“I was depressed to see our house burning during our wedding day,” said Dionisio.
The two reportedly lived in that rented house for almost four years.
“Pait kayo nga mobalik na sad mi sa sinugdanan tungod sa among butang nga nangasunog (We lost our things in the fire, and it pains us that now we have to start ver),” added Ana Marie.
While the fire spread through their house, most of their visitors scampered away, and the water that firefighters used drenched all the party food.
City Fire Marshall William Tacaldo of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said they had difficulty putting out the fire because the scene was located in an interior portion.
All Cebu City fire trucks responded to the fire, which was classified as Task Force Alpha.
Heavy traffic resulted when the national road in Barangay Bulacao was closed to give way to the firetrucks.
Private motorists and passenger jeepneys were rerouted to the South Road Properties.
Bulacao barangay captain Rodrigo Abellana said they will declare a state of calamity to hasten the release of calamity funds to help the fire survivors.
The affected families are temporarily housed in the Bulacao Community Gym. The barangay also offered food and clothes.
As of Monday, the BFP-Central Visayas was still trying to figure out how much damage the fire caused -- apart from an interrupted wedding reception. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.