A predawn fire shook residents out of their sleep

first_imgA pre-dawn fire shook residents out of their sleep, destroying over 175 houses in a hilly portion of barangays Quiot and Kinasang-an in Cebu City past 1 a.m. yesterday.A familiar problem – narrow roads in crowded neighborhoods – slowed down firefighters in the second blaze to hit the city within two days after 250 houses went up in smoke in the urban barangays of Carreta and Tejero.ADVERTISEMENT While the disaster opens a chance to widen access roads, reblocking the villages also means families can’t immediately go back and start rebuilding on site.MORE STORIESnewsinfoSen. Pia Cayetano: Judge our clan based on performancenewsinfoWHAT WENT BEFORE: Dengvaxia is world’s first dengue vaccinenewsinfoBaybayin revival makes native PH history hipMORE STORIESnewsinfoSen. Pia Cayetano: Judge our clan based on performancenewsinfoWHAT WENT BEFORE: Dengvaxia is world’s first dengue vaccinenewsinfoBaybayin revival makes native PH history hip“We will have to proceed with reblocking in the area in collaboration with barangay officials,” said Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, something Mayor Michael Rama had promised to do in Carreta after a smaller fire hit another interior village in August.This would mean spending Christmas in makeshift shelters or moving out of the neighborhood.No lives were lost in both fires, although a fireman was injured when he was sideswiped by a firetruck of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation yesterday.Congestion in interior urban villages makes the sitios a fire trap.ADVERTISEMENT PH protests Chinese boat swarm, warship passage Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements Painters refuse to go quietly Locsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilege “Ten families insisted on staying in the cemetery so they are near their homes,” Concha said. They were given tents.NO CLASSESSince the start of the fire, classes in Carreta Elementary School had to be suspended.The principal agreed to let the school shelter fire victims, but only until Friday. Special catch-up classes will be held for pupils over the weekend.“However, the principal agreed that the victims can come back to the school during night time. In the day, they have to stay at the barangay’s sports complex,” said Concha. / with Correspondent Fe Marie DumabocRead Next LATEST STORIES MOST READ PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities PLAY LIST 03:26PCSO to focus on improving transparency of gaming activities01:39Sotto open to discuss, listen to pros and cons of divorce bill06:02Senate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreements01:50Palace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spike01:49House seeks probe on ‘massive corruption’ in PCSO01:37PCSO estimates P250M in Lotto revenue loss due to suspension In both cases, firemen had to connect water houses to reach interior areas. The cause of the fires have not been established yet.The Cebu City Council yesterday declared the four barangays under a state of calamity so that disaster funds could be released for relief and rebuildng.FEATURED STORIESNEWSINFOSenate to probe Tolentino’s ‘novel legal theories’ on oral agreementsNEWSINFOLocsin wants to drop ‘visas upon arrival’ privilegeNEWSINFOPalace open to make Dengvaxia usable again as dengue cases spikeIt will be a sad Christmas for over 230 families who lost their homes in yesterday’s early morning fire and 440 other families in the earlier Carreta-Tejero afternoon fire.Over 2,390 individuals were displaced, based on a tally by the city’s social welfare office. Baybayin revival makes native PH history hip View comments SMC bags Bulacan airport project Carpio gets nominated as CJ for 4th time Concha of DSWS said there were 175 affected houses in Kinasang-an and Quiot. Tents were given to those who insist on staying near the fire site.Quiot Barangay Captain Francis Espares said fire victims can stay for a few days at the Quiot Elementary School nearby.However, Carreta barangay captain Eddie Lauron said his problem was that no more calamity funds were left for the year, as the barangay fund was used after a fire struck in another sitio of Bagong Bahay last August 25.The Dec. 10 fire hit sitios Laray and Caimito in barangay Carreta and sitio Tierra Kura in barangay Tejero.AssistanceAs a standard response, the DSWS distributed food packs to fire victims and will continue for three days.Cash aid is P10,000 for a family whose house was destroyed and P5,000 for those whose houses were partly damaged. Some building materials will also be given.DSWD chief Concha said her staff identified 440 affected families or 1,585 individuals in barangays Tejero and Carreta with 250 destroyed houses.In Quiot and Kinasang-an, there are 230 families or 808 affected individuals.In the Carreta fire, three sites were used for evacuation – Carreta Elementary School, Carreta sports complex and the Doña Pepang Cemetery. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “For those in Carreta, I think it will be hard for them to get back in their areas in time for Christmas because of plans of reblocking. Actually, clearing and bulldozing in the area has started,” said Ester Concha, chief of the Department of Social Welfare and Services.Before Mayor Rama left yesterday for Manila on official business, he ordered the staff to get started.“The mayor said reblocking has to be done and each household would be of equal size in square meters,” said Simeon Romarate, executive director of the disaster office, which set up an outpost in Carreta to monitor the fire site.“We need the barangay’s political will.”Yesterday’s fire hit sitios Camansi and Luyang in barangay Quiot and sitio Mahayahay 2 of barangay Kinasang-an.The fire was reported at 1:30 a.m. and was placed under control at about 3 a.m.Arson investigator Lorenzo Cabigas Jr. was injured when an ERUF firetruck sideswiped him but he was declared safe.The fire may have started in a vacant room of a two-story house owned by Norma Jacaba, said Senior Fire Officer 2 Lowel Opolentisima. No cause has been estabished yet.Tommy Satulomban, a 42-year-old resident, said he secured his family, but lost his habal-habal motorycle in the blaze. When he got home, he noted there was still a vacant space not affected by the fire.He and neighbors hope they could get housing materials and cash aid from the city to rebuild in that spot. WHAT WENT BEFORE: Dengvaxia is world’s first dengue vaccinelast_img