Cause of Hipodromo fire still undetermined; reblocking urged
FIRE investigators still cannot determine where the fire in Barangay Hipodromo started or what caused it.
Senior Fire Officer 3 Maurice Oporto said several witnesses have pointed to different houses where the fire allegedly started.
These witnesses were advised to put in writing what they saw.
Initially, the fire was said to have started in the house of a certain Ramie Inopiquez but other witnesses said it started in the house of a certain Marilyn and Marissa, whose family names are still unknown.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Barangay Captain Rupinto Bacolod said that fire-hit areas in Sitios Cahipa and Bakante in Barangay Hipodromo will be reblocked to provide more road access.
“Tan-awon nato ang reblocking. Dugay na walay exit road, mao na kinahanglan ang pag reblock sa area. We will do unsay makaayo,” Labella said.
(We will look into reblocking the area. It has been so long since there has been no exit road that is why we need to reblock the area. We will do what is best.)
Bacolod agreed with the vice-mayor, saying the barangay has coordinated with the Division of Welfare and Urban Poor (DWUP) for the reblocking.
“Walay sudlanan. Usa kini ka problema. Usa ra ang entrance ug exit,” said Bacolod.
(There is no access area, this is the problem. There is only entry and exit.)
He said the responding firemen could not enter the area.
The fire that started past 3 p.m. on Wednesday burned 115 houses affecting 193 families and a total of 861 people based on the count of the Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRMO).
It took an hour before the fire was under control and the damage was placed at P2 million.
State of Calamity
The Hipodromo barangay council declared a state of calamity on the evening of September 27 for Sitio Cahipa and Sitio Bakante.
Bacolod said they have submitted the declaration to the city council and hope they get aid from the city government.
Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) head, Leah Japson said that the food assistance they have provided for the victims will only last until Sunday.
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