Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Talamban fire kills 2 children

TWENTY-seven-year old Kimberly Llorga left for work yesterday morning so she can save up for her son’s birthday one week from now.

She, however, will be preparing for Terrence John’s burial instead, after a blaze in Sitio Hillside, Barangay Talamban, Cebu City killed him and his three-month-old brother Bryle Cedric yesterday.

The fire allegedly started in the brothers’ room on the second floor of their house around 11:58 a.m. Firefighters declared it under control by 12:24 p.m.

The brother’s bodies were discovered by fire investigators on the ground floor past 1 p.m., under some burned lumber and part of the house’s galvanized iron roof.

Kato si Terrence sweet kaayo to na bata. Suod kaayo na sa akong mama. Ang katapusang nasulti niya nako kay, ‘Ma, ig-birthday nako dad-i kog pizza ha?’ Wa ko ga-expect nga ing-ani ang mahitabo (Terrence was such a sweet boy. He was so close to mother. The last thing he said to me was a request for some pizza on his birthday),” Kimberly said.

He would have turned four next week.

Before she left to work in someone else’s home in a subdivision in Barangay Banilad, Kimberly had brought her younger son Bryle to the Talamban health center for an immunization shot.

Later, she heard about the fire through a text from one of her friends.

Nagkurog ko didto sa akong trabahoan kay akong gihuna-huna ang akong mga anak. Niuli ko diritso aron ma-secure ilang safety ba. Wa na ko’y naabtan. Pagmahay nako wa nako na-save akong anak. Wa nako sila masalbar (That text made me tremble. I rushed home to try to save my children, but I didn’t get there fast enough. I regret failing to save my children),” she said.

Kimberly has five children. Terrence was the fourth and Bryle was her youngest.

The two boys were left in their house with Kimberly’s brother Ryan.

Ryan, in a separate interview, said he was sleeping in his room on the ground floor when his cousin, who lives nearby, shouted that there was a fire.

He tried to go upstairs to save the children, but the flames kept him out.

Kung wa pa to kasinggit akong ig-agaw, apil sad siguro ming mamatay ato (If my cousin hadn’t yelled, I would probably have died, too),” he said.

Ryan said he didn’t hear any explosion from inside the room of the two children.

City Fire Marshal Rogelio Bongabong Jr. said that investigators are looking at the possibility that an electric fan inside the boys’ room may have overheated.

Investigators are also looking at the possibility that one of the children may have been playing with a match.

Based on records of City Hall’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS), yesterday’s fire in Talamban struck 27 houses, of which 24 were destroyed and three, damaged.

It displaced 40 families or some 200 individuals.

DSWS will revalidate their list today. It started giving food packs to the fire survivors yesterday in the Talamban sports complex, where they are temporarily taking shelter.

The initial estimate on property damage was pegged at P300,000.

At least 10 fire trucks from the Bureau of Fire and Protection and volunteers rushed to the sitio. The alarm was raised to Task Force Alpha, meaning that all available trucks in Cebu City and trucks assigned to stations near the city needed to respond.

Some of the firefighters positioned themselves on the elevated portion of a subdivision near the fire site.

Also yesterday, a fire hit the stockroom of an electronics store on Sabellano St. in Barangay Punta Princesa, Cebu City at 8:25 a.m.

SFO2 Roland de los Reyes said the blaze was kept from spreading to other establishments after 26 minutes of firefighting.

No one was hurt among the 40 employees of the store.

Lyndon Gabasa, an employee, said the fire started in the receiving area of the stockroom.
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