Cebu City volunteer firefighters lose homes to Santa Cruz fire, need help
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – They are used to helping save lives.
But now, six volunteer firefighters are among those in need as their homes were burned down in a fire that hit Sitio Bugnay, Barangay Santa Cruz here on Thursday, September 2, 2021.
One of the six affected Barangay Santa Cruz fire volunteers is Vhanrold Monteron, who has been a volunteer firefighter for nine years now. He was part of the firefighters who worked on the Santa Cruz fire.
“Pinaka-sakit nga sunog nga akong na respondihan kanang inyong lugar na mahitabo ang sunog. Wala naka kasabot sa imong gibati kanang mag kumbati ka sa kayo nga mag hilak,” Monteron said.
(This is the most painful fire that I’ve responded to, wherein it is your place that is burning. I couldn’t understand what I was feeling, I was working to extinguish the fire and at the same time crying.)
At least 16 houses were burned down by the fire that started at 6:04 p.m., displacing at least 100 individuals.
“Sakit gyud kay first time na nahitabo sa among lugar karun pajud mi ka suway nasunogan,” he added.
(It’s really painful because this is the first time this happened in our area and this is the first time that we were also victims.)
Monteron, said the house of his brother John Rold Arnibal, who is among 10 volunteer firefighters in the barangay, was also burned down in the fire.
The other volunteer firefighters of Barangay Santa Cruz whose houses were also burned down are Jover Lloyd Coverta, Lester Jayson Coverta, Laurence Subing-subing, and Jomarie Pangilinan.
Luckily, none of Monteron’s family members were hurt. He and his family, together with the 20 other affected families, are temporarily housed at the Velez gym along Ramos Street.
Monteron said he and the rest of the victims could use some help in rebuilding their homes. Those who are willing to send help of any kind can go to the evacuation center at the Velez gym.
The 27-year-old Monteron started his volunteer works in 2012. He has responded to several fire incidents not just in Cebu City, but also in other local government units such as Lapu-Lapu City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion.
The volunteer firefighter said he also works as a tanod (village watchman) in the barangay since 2013.
He stressed that he is passionate about helping others, which is why he volunteered himself.
“Gusto lang gyud ko maka-tabang sa uban katawhan mao ni sulod ko aning pagka fire volunteer. Bisag unsa akong lakaw kung dli lang importante nga lakaw mabiyaan gyud naku kung naa’y alarma sa sunog,” said Monteron.
(I really just want to help others that’s why I became a fire volunteer. Even if I have an errand to run, if it’s really not that important, I leave it first if there’s a fire alarm.)