678 families left homeless in Cebu City fire
CEBU CITY- The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) reported that 678 families were displaced by the fire that struck a densely populated area in Sitio Kanipaan, Barangay Sawang Calero shortly before midnight on Thursday.
Around 145 houses mostly made of light materials were razed to the ground by the fire, which lasted for over an hour.
The latest count of the DSWS showed that there are 1,152 affected residents, who are temporarily sheltered at the barangay hall, gym and elementary school.
The fire, which started in the home of a certain Mario Fernandez at 11:28 p.m., quickly spread, and was declared under control only over an hour later, at 12:50 a.m.
Fire Superintendent Ceasar Patrocinio, the Cebu provincial fire marshal and ground commande, said they were still determining what caused the fire since the house of Fernandez had no electricity.
Only Gestoni Fernandez, the nephew of the house owner, was at home when the fire broke out, Patrocinio said.
Patrocinio added that the damage brought by the fire was initially placed at P2 million.
Sawang Calero Barangay Captain Ariel Yburan called the barangay council at dawn today for an emergency meeting to declare a state of calamity in the barangay.
The declaration will enable the barangay to use its calamity fund to assist the fire victims, now housed in barangay shelters.
About 42 children among the fire victims were given refuge at the nearby compound of the Missionaries of the Poor, a Catholic religious order.
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