FAMILIES affected by the huge fire that gutted hundreds of houses in two sitios of Barangay Pahina Central, Cebu City last Saturday are asking the public to help them recover from the calamity.

Gemma Lederos, 45, opted to stay at the Pahina Central Gym because it will be easier for her to claim the food and other assistance provided by the Cebu City Government.

“Mas pabor diri sa gym kay naay mga hinabang dali mi makakuha kay naa man diri ang distribusyon (It is better to stay here at the gym because we will have easy access to the assistance as the distributions are done here),” she said.

The gym is being used as a temporary shelter for most of the fire survivors since the school in the barangay will be used as a voting center for today’s elections.

The food packs being distributed by the City Government will only last until today, or three days after the fire hit the community.

This made Lederos worried. She and the other survivors appealed to the public for any help that they could extend to them.

Their immediate needs are kitchenware, blankets and mats, which they will use while taking shelter in the gym.

Lederos said she was not able to save any of her things during the incident because she prioritized the safety of her family.

Lederos said she had to immediately evacuate her 83-year-old mother Natividad to save her from getting hurt in the fire. When she came back, she could no longer get in as the fire already spread in the house.

As of yesterday, the City through the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) has yet to release cash assistance to the families because it will still be processed when the City Hall operation resumes tomorrow.

Like Lederos, Sandra Chan, 43, and her family also failed to save any of their belongings.

Chan, a bookkeeper, said she is still thankful that all members of her family are safe.

She said that what they really need right now are kitchenware so they can cook their own food when the DSWS stops the distribution of food packs.

Chan and her family are staying in the old One Citilink Terminal, which is close to where their house stood.

Lederos and Chan are among the 900 individuals or 234 families displaced by an early morning fire last Saturday in Sitios

Tumoy and Riverside in Barangay Pahina Central.

Seven persons, including a mother and her three children, died in the fire.