Vigil saves lives in Lorega fire

TWENTY houses burned while eight houses were damaged in a fire that razed Upper Lomar, Barangay Lorega San-Miguel in Cebu City yesterday.

According to some residents, the fire started in an apartment where a charger had overheated. Fire investigators have yet to confirm this.

Most of the houses in the area were old and made of light materials, according to Gonzalo Samino, 65, a mechanical engineer.

“Mga daan naman gud ang mga balay diri pero kani among balay titulado gud unya ang katong nasunog dapit nato sa squatters’ area (There are many old houses here but our house is titled. The fire started in the squatters’ area),” he told Sun.Star Cebu.

Samino said that not one of the residents in the area had time to pack their things as the fire spread quickly to the adjacent houses.

It was a relief for them that the residents were awake because they attended a vigil in a nearby chapel, he said.

No one was injured.

He also commended the efforts of the firefighters who responded as soon as possible and controlled the fire after 27 minutes.

Firefighters received the fire alarm at 1:53 a.m. and quickly decided to raise a second alarm, asking neighboring fire stations to help.

The fire was placed under control at 2:20 a.m. and declared out at 5:30 a.m.

Samino’s neighbors helped him scavenge for some aluminum sheets and steel bars in the ruins of his house, which he sell in junk shops.

A certain Lea, who declined to give her full name, said that the house she lost had belonged to her grandmother.

SFO3 Pier Abellana of the Pardo Fire Substation pegged the damage at P400,000.

This was the first fire that hit Lorega this month.

In 2014, the biggest fire that hit Cebu City was also in Barangay Lorega-San Miguel, where homes in five sitios burned down.

The barangay was prone to fire incidents because of its closely packed shanties, according to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

Sun.Star Cebu tried to call Lorega Barangay Captain Fitzgerald Herrera but he couldn’t be contacted.
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