Grandson rues failure to save grandpa in Sambag II fire
HIS screams for help were the last thing that his grandson heard from him.
Eleuterio Jamiro, 85, died when he got trapped inside his room while fire consumed his house and 23 others in Sitio Kawayan, Barangay Sambag II, Cebu City last Tuesday night.
Jovanni, his grandson, told Cebu Daily News that he tried everything to open the door of Jamiro’s room.
“Grabeha pod nako uy, ngano wa man nako to naabrihan (Why couldn’t I open the door?)” Jovanni said as he wept.
He said he came from an errand when he saw that the room was on fire. Jamiro, a diabetic, could hardly walk.
“Manirado man gud na siya sige gud. Kung molakaw na siya kay iya pod na i-padlock ang iyang kwarto sa ubos (He would always lock himself in the room.
Whenever he would go out for a stroll, he would padlock the room),” Jovanni said.
Jamiro’s charred remains were discovered on the floor inside his room more than two hours after the blaze was controlled.
The incident, reported at 9:38 p.m. on Tuesday and placed under control about 15 minutes later, marked the first day of Fire Prevention Month.
Some 41 families, or 132 individuals, were left homeless. They are temporarily housed in the barangay gym.
Chief Insp. Rogelio Bongabong, Cebu City fire marshal, said an unattended lamp or candle that might have been toppled in Jamiro’s room which could have sparked the fire.
Jamiro’s room was situated on the ground floor of their two-story house. Jovanni said they haven’t had electricity for about a year.
Bongabong said it took them a while finding the body of the victim because the fire scene was very dark. The remains were brought to St. Francis Funeral Homes.
Residents of the highly congested community scampered for a way out when fire broke out.
Rogelia Manolo, one of the affected residents, said they were afraid of being trapped.
“Mahadlok mi nga basin maparehas sauna ba nga motapon unya sa mga balay mao nga dritso ramig dagan pagawas kay lisod man gud na ang exit diri (We were afraid that the fire would escalate fast so we immediately ran outside. It’s hard to get out of here),” she said.
Barangay Sambag II is among the 79 congested areas in Cebu City that have been recommended by the Bureau of Fire Protection Central Visayas (BFP-7) for re-blocking.
The fire victims can rebuild because the area is owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA), said Sambag II Barangay Captain Carl Stephen Belarmino.
“They can rebuild but by that time, the residents have to conform to specifications for wider pathways just in case another fire hits the area,” said Belarmino.
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