35 families lose homes to fire

(The Freeman) - July 18, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - At least 35 families lost their homes to a fire that hit Villagonzalo 2 in Barangay Tejero, Cebu City early morning yesterday.

Portia Basmayor of the city's Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) said 16 houses were burned down and six others were damaged. In total, 141 individuals lost their homes. 

The Bureau of Fire received the alarm at nearly 8 a.m. and was able to control the fire in reportedly less than 12 minutes.

Senior Fire Officer 4 Jovito Abelgas told The Freeman the fire started at the house of one Violeta Ouano.

"Nagdaub daw ni si Violeta sa mga laya nga dahon… tungod kay ginama man sa light materials mao gilamoy sa kayo ang mga panimalay," Abelgas said.

Ouano reportedly always built a fire right outside her house.

"Magdaub gyud siya ug mga laya nga dahon sa ilang tugkaran ug nahitabo gayud ang sunog kay kadaghan sa balay dire ginama man sa mga light materials," Abelgas said.

"Walay nakalas o naangol pero ang maong sunog, maoy ikatulo na kahigayon nahitabo sa maong lugar," he added.

Former councilor Lea Japson, the new head of DSWS, said the city has distributed food packs to the survivors staying temporarily at the barangay gym.

"This is not new to me naman pud… basta mo-provide lang gyud ta og basic services sa affected individuals," she said.

The meal provision will continue until Tuesday, she said.

She said DSWS is now processing the financial assistance to the families affected and the city will also give them housing materials.

"As of now, dili sa mi mag-introduce og changes sa DSWS in terms of giving assistance," she said.

She said she has instructed the city's Department for the Welfare of the Urban Poor (DWUP) to inspect the area to determine the owner of the property and if the fire victims can still rebuild their houses there.

"Wala pa ta kahibaw pud kun naay re-blocking kay duol raman sa dalan ang nasunog pero naay gagmay nga spaces lang gyud in between sa houses," she said. (FREEMAN)


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