Rebuilding lives and damaged homes

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto, Nestle L. Semilla February 20,2018 - 10:47 PM

Using a long stick, a firemen bores holes into the walls of a burning two-storey house in barangay Quiot to remove flammable materials in efforts to contain the huge fire from spreading to more homes.


Monday, February 19, saw a string of tragic events in Cebu: an early morning accident at the South Road Properties (SRP) involving an MPV and two motorcycles, which killed two people; the noontime ambush of Lawyer Jonnah John Ungab at the North Reclamation Area (NRA), and an afternoon fire which broke out in Barangay Quiot.

While the two former incidents ended the lives of casualties, the fire, which lasted more than an hour, prompted the hundreds of victims to start their lives anew, after losing everything to the blaze.

In a visit to the fire scene yesterday, Cebu Daily News found 54-year-old Rebecca Paradilla, searching through the remains of her house gutted down by the fire that enveloped two sitios: Upper Yati and Beltran.

She told CDN that not only did her family lose the two-storey home which they had lived in for ten years; but they were also robbed of their belongings.

“Sakit gyod kaayo makakita sa pila na katuig nimong gipundar (It is very painful to see everything that you’ve built through the years is gone),” she said.

Paradilla is among the more than 300 people left homeless in the fire which ravaged at least 61 houses.

Most affected families are taking shelter at the village basketball court and chapel, while only six decided to stay at a village-designated evacuation area, uphill.

Epifania Cadungog, 47, who is in the evacuation area with four other members of her family, explained that most of their neighbors chose to stay in the open basketball court, rather than than go up to a mountainous area identified by village officials as their temporary relocation site.

“Layo na man gyud kaayo diri ug tungason pud kaayo (This area is very far and it’s mountainous),” she said.

Aside from a difficult climb to get to the site, the evacuation area has no available water supply for the fire victims.

Food packs were, however, distributed to the victims by the Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS).

The incident

SFO2 Lowel Opolentisima of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire, which started at around 5:28 p.m. in the house of 63-year-old Carlito Dayanan in Sitio Beltran wrought damage to about P500,000 worth of properties.

Opolentisima said the fire was put under control at 6:51 p.m. with no reported injuries.

Saddened over the incident, Quiot Barangay Captain Frances Espares called on residents to be always careful even as investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire. “Gikasubo sa konseho nga nahitabo kining trahedya. Kita magbinantayon sa usag usa kanato (The council is sad that this tragedy had to happen. Let us be mindful of ourselves),” said Espares. He also urged those wanting to extend their help to the victims to preferably donate food supplies and housing materials so that affected residents can begin reconstructing their homes and their lives.

“Katong nagpakabana ug dunay malumong kasing nga unta sila diri makahatag og ayuda sa atong mga kaigsoonan. Any kind kay bukas ang atong barangay (To those who care and are kind enough to extend help to our brethren, our barangay is always open for any kind of donation), he said.

Based on data of the DSWS, 385 individuals from at least 80 families were left homeless when the fire swept through 61 houses in the area.

DSWS Head Lea Japson said that the city goevrnemnt will provide help such as food, utensils, blankets and housing materials.

The city will also provide financial assistance for each family based on a list of victims to be validated by City Hall.

“We are still processing this and making a final list of all the fire victims before distributing their financial assistance,” said Japson in Cebuano.

Homeowners will receive a financial aid of P20,000 while renters will be given P10,000 each.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña told reporters that he will give out tents to the fire victims, which will be bought out of his own personal funds.
“I will give them tents. I think I have still extra tents,” Osmena said.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

TAGS: damaged, homes, lives, rebuilding

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.