Fire leaves 67 families in Lapu-Lapu homeless

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CEBU -- Sixty-seven families lost their homes on New Year's Eve when a fire struck a residential area in Sitio San Roque, Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Lapu-Lapu City District estimated the damage caused by the 2 a.m. fire at P540,000.

The BFP Lapu-Lapu City District said the fire started in the living room of Jocelyn Tomial and quickly spread to nearby houses made of light materials.

No one was reported injured or killed during the fire, which was placed under control at 3:17 a.m.

Affected families sought temporary shelter at the Barangay Basak Gym.

Aside from food, the families need mats, blankets and clothes because they were not able to salvage anything from their houses.

Senior Fire Officer 4 Rodrigo Ygot Jr., chief of BFP Lapu-Lapu operations division, said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Nemesio Galanza, one of the fire victims, said affected families suspect arson.

The affected families, members of the Land Urban Poor Association (Lupa), were occupying a lot claimed by the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority and a family.

Galanza, president of Lupa, said the ownership of the lot is under litigation before the Court of Appeals.

He said that last Monday night, some residents saw a strange man tinkering with some electric wires in the area.


Galanza said he is thankful to their dog for saving his family.

The Galanzas’ 11-month-old mixed-breed dog barked repeatedly and scratched at the door, alerting the family to the fire.

Galanza woke up in time to get his children to safety. They were also able to salvage a television set and some clothes.

The labrador-golden retriever dog, Koji, was a gift from Galanza’s Korean national boss.

Riza Fuentes, 33, saved her three children—ages ranging from one to nine years old—from the fire but her family lost everything else.

She said she woke up to neighbors yelling “sunog” (fire) and had barely enough time to wake up her children.

She said her children's new dresses and toys, which were her Christmas gifts to them, perished in the blaze. (FMG/Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 01, 2014.

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