Flames leave 100 homeless-A A +A
Saturday, February 23, 2013
SOME 30 houses were lost in the blaze that hit Sitio Upper Sambag 2, Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City yesterday afternoon.
Firefighters received the alarm at 2:25 p.m. and declared the fire under control at 2:52 p.m.
Three persons were injured; two found it difficult to breathe, while the other sustained bruises. Fire investigators still had to get their names yesterday.
According to the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) 7, 20 houses were totally burned while five were damaged.
Some 60 families or 100 individuals were left homeless, but the City Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) will still have to get the final list of those affected.
Barangay Guadalupe Captain Michael Gacasan agreed with the estimate that the fire hit at least 30 houses, since these sat close to each other and were made mostly of light materials.
An investigation will confirm what started the flames, but Insp. Jose Laureto of the BFP 7 said that according to an initial report, three children were seen playing with match sticks near the house that belongs to Josibel Roxas.
He said that was the third day the children were seen playing with matches and they were supposedly reprimanded by their neighbors.
“We will still have to validate and investigate this,” said Laureto.
One fire victim, Catherine Nieves, 19, said she was asleep when she felt an intense heat inside her room.
When she opened her eyes, she saw the flames and ran outside.
“I was alone at the house since my mother and brother were out. I was so afraid and did not know what to do,” said Nieves in Bisaya.
The fire wrecked their house.
Cristopher Sanchez, whose house was also destroyed, thought the fire had started in their house. He said that he just woke up from an afternoon nap and went outside to relieve himself. When he went back, his house was already burning.
Laureto said they had difficulty putting out the fire because the fire scene was located in a mountainous area. There were no water hydrants and the roads were narrow.
All the Cebu City fire trucks responded to the fire, which was declared a general alarm.
Because no trucks could reach the scene, firefighters connected their hoses to fight the flames.
Gacasan said they will declare a state of calamity so that barangay funds may be released quickly, for them to help the fire victims rebuild their houses.
Food will be provided by the barangay, while the fire victims will be temporarily housed in the sports complex.
Fire investigators still have to assess the total damage the fire caused.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 23, 2013.