Tisa Barangay Council places four fire-hit sitios under state of calamity

By: Ador Vincent S. Mayol February 20,2017 - 04:39 PM

 Fire victims from Sitio Lutaw-Lutaw are temporarily housed at the La Paloma covered court in Barangay Labangon

Fire victims from Sitio Lutaw-Lutaw are temporarily housed at the La Paloma covered court in Barangay Labangon

CEBU CITY–Four sitios of Barangay Tisa in Cebu City were declared under a state of calamity after a nearly 7-hour fire rendered at least 259 families homeless on Monday dawn.

A state of calamity is also set to be declared in Sitio Sto. Rosario in adjacent Barangay Labangon to allow the barangay to use its calamity funds to assist the victims.

The dawn fire burned down 185 houses located in the boundaries of Barangays Tisa and Labangon. Authorities estimate the damage to reach P1.5 million.

No was seriously injured.

The four affected sitios in Barangay Tisa were Lutaw-lutaw, Tacao, Luhai, and Kauswagan.

City Hall’s Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) immediately provided food to the affected residents, many of whom occupied the gymnasiums in the two affected barangays.

Each affected family will receive P20,000 from the Cebu City government.

Barangay Tisa Captain Philip Zafra said they received reports that a couple had a confrontation, prompting the husband to throw at his wife a lighted lamp inside their residence.

Investigators were looking for the suspect — Andrew Balunan, and his wife.

Another information they received was that Balunan’s child was left alone in the house lighted by a lamp that accidentally fell past midnight on Monday.

“I urge the couple to appear before my office to shed light on what really happened. People are mad at them. They are blamed for what happened. I understand they are afraid to come into the open, but I hope they will see me,” said Zafra in an interview.

Cebu City Fire Marshal Rogelio Bongabong said they received the fire alarm at 12:28 a.m.

After about an hour, he declared a Task Force Alpha, calling fire trucks from other cities to help Cebu City firefighters put out the blaze.

Bongabong said the fire was placed under control at 2:33 a.m. but was put out at 6:58 a.m.

As the Fire Prevention Month approaches, Bongabong urged people to be fire-safety conscious at all times.

Monday’s fire was the biggest in Cebu City since January 2017.

Majority of the fire incidents in Cebu City were caused by faulty electrical wiring and unattended open flame like lighted candles, the BFP-Cebu City record showed.

Bongabong encouraged the public to be extra careful and to invest on early warning devices like smoke detectors and heat sensors.

He said each house should have fire extinguishers and alternative exit doors.

Zafra appealed to people to assist those affected by the fire.

“What they need now are toiletries, blanket, mats, pillows, water, and used clothing,” he said.

Eleuterio Duazo, 58, said he was soundly asleep inside his room when he heard heard a commotion from outside.

He said he quickly got up and see the huge blaze near their house. Duazo immediately ran for safety.

“I am happy that nothing bad happened to me,” said Duazo whose wife went home to Tuburan town when the fire broke out.

He appealed to authorities to conduct a thorough investigation on the matter and, if validated, to file charges against the couple who reportedly caused the fire.

“I want them to answer for what they did),” Duazo said.

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TAGS: barangay, barangay Labangon, Cebu City, Department of Social Welfare and Services, DSWS, fire, sitios, state of calamity, Tisa, victims

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