A DEAF-mute senior citizen was killed while hundred were displaced after a fire razed houses in Barangay 21-C, Piapi, Boulevard, Davao City dawn yesterday, August 12, 2017.
According to Fire Officer 2 Alfredo Alas of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) 11, the victim was identified as Zenaida Tan, 60, and a physically challenged person, who was trapped in their house. Her body was later discovered while authorities were conducting clearing operation.
Aside from fatality, there were also one injured identified as Nero Tan, 53, sustained first degree burns.
Based on the initial investigation, the fire broke out at the house of Arci Asdali due to what was believed to be an unattended gas lamp.
Askali's house has no electricity after it was disconnected and opted for the lamp as alternative source of light.
Since houses were made of light and combustible materials, it was immediately engulfed by the fire.
The fire razed a total of 37 houses with an estimated damage pegged at P832,500 worth of properties.
The fire was declared under control at around 6:53 p.m.
Alas added that fire fighters had a hard time penetrating the area because of the narrow streets and houses were closely positioned to each other. Since the fire truck could not enter, they connected the hose until it reach the area.
In an interview with the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) City Poblacion B District Social Welfare Officer Virginia Bautista, she said based on their assessment as of 12 p.m., they recorded about 75 house owners, 25 sharers, 12 renters, one border, one caretaker, and one absentee owner but she said that the figure could still go up since they have not yet done interviewing all the residents.
Several families are temporarily taking shelter in the barangay gym while some are staying with their relatives. CSSDO has provided medicines to affected residents. The city government will also provide assistance to the victims.
The CSSDO workers also conducted psychosocial debriefing to the children in the evacuation area.
They have yet to conduct tagging of totally and partially damaged with the barangay officials.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on August 13, 2017.
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