Early morning fire razes 22 homes in Lapu
AN EARLY morning fire razed 22 houses on Saturday and rendered 25 families or 103 individuals homeless in Sitio San Roque Barangay Pusok, Lapu-Lapu City.
Damage was pegged at P250,000 while one person was reported injured when the victim stepped on a broken glass bottle.
SFO2 Climaco Salisid, fire investigator of Lapu-Lapu City Fire Central District, said the fire was caused by electrical loose connection based on the accounts of Warlita Gerali, the owner of the house where the fire allegedly started.
Gerali said she heard crackling sounds from an electric wire which was connected from their house to a utility post a few minutes before the fire broke out.
Gerali said that when she noticed the blaze on the upper deck of her house, she immediately instructed her sons to run for safety.
The Lapu-Lapu City Fire Central District received the fire alarm at 9:26 a.m. It was put under control at 9:53 a.m.
Fire victims are now temporarily housed at the Mini Hoops Dome of Barangay Pusok.
Pusok Barangay Councilor Marieta Layaguin revealed that the number of families affected by the blaze could reach 30 or 200 individuals.
Pusok Barangay Captain Caridad Dawat on the other hand, announced that they might not declare a state of calamity as the magnitude of the fire may not meet the requirements. However, she said that fire victims may be provided financial assistance by the city and the barangay.
The City Social Welfare Department (CSWD) she said, is providing free meals to the victims for up to three days while a team from the city’s health department will monitor the victims for any health concerns.
Meanwhile, Gerali and the other fire victims are afraid that they may not be allowed to rebuild their homes. She said they have been living in the area since 1978 and were not paying any rent as they were just allowed by the owner, a certain Mrs Godinez to build their homes there.
But Gerali said that Mrs. Godinez has since been dead and the area is now being owned by Dr. Alan Alcantara. Alcantara, she said, negotiated with the residents last year and offered financial assistance if they vacate his property.
Gerali said she and her neighbors would understand if the new owner would not let them rebuild their homes.
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