221 houses razed

03/16/10 - MORE than 200 houses were razed by a fire across Pilipinas Makro Cebu in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City yesterday.
No casualty was reported but one person suffered a cut in the palm while trying to salvage belongings. Also, a 17-year-old boy collapsed after saving his stuff from their burning house.
Mayor Jonas Cortes convened the City Disaster Council (CDC) for immediate access to calamity funds.

Affected was Sitio Aroma, which was also hit by a fire seven years ago. The fire alarm was reported at 2:15 p.m. and began at the house of Jessie Padronia, said fire investigator SFO1 Julius Lloa.

Fire Marshal Rogelio Bongabong Jr. said the blaze immediately spread to other houses, which were mostly made of light materials.
Bongabong said the fire was controlled in 20 minutes and was put out at 3:45 p.m.
Lloa’s initial count was that there were 221 houses razed and the estimated damage was placed at P800,000.

He said they have yet to establish the cause of fire, since Padronia was not around when the blaze started.

Provincial Fire Marshal Victor Vibares said the fire scene had houses built close to each other beside the firewall of HV Gaisano Arcade, the complex that houses Innodata.

One resident, 42-year-old Ramon Formentera, suffered a five-inch cut on his right palm when he tried to open the galvanized iron sheet that served as a wall to his house.
Another resident, 17-year-old Noel Mangaron Jr., fainted from fatigue after saving his belongings. Both were treated by Emergency Rescue Foundation rescuers who were at the fire scene.

City Social Welfare Service Chief Violeta Cavada ordered the putting up of tents some 10 meters from the fire scene for the listing of displaced residents so the City Government could provide them with assistance.

Cortes convened late yesterday afternoon the CDC to pass a resolution declaring Sitio Aroma a calamity area. He hopes to see the City Council adopt the resolution in today’s session.
Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, the presiding officer of the City Council, said they will immediately act on the resolution once they receive it.

He said the affected families will receive P10,000 worth of housing materials.
The City’s social welfare office, he said, has a stock of rice and noodles that will be distributed to the fire victims.

The displaced residents are being temporarily housed at the Subangdaku gym and the tents that were put up in the area.

Rogelio Sulad, president of Sitio Aroma Homeowners Association (Saha), whose 47 active members were affected by fire, said the group will attend today’s City Council session to lobby for the immediate adoption of the CDC resolution.
“Sugot o dili ang tag-iya kami mobalik og tarok diri (We will rebuild our homes whether or not the lot owner will allow it),” he said.

Cortes said the area razed by the fire is owned by the Tan Chan family.

He said this is the third fire to hit the area. It was hit by a fire in 1996 and in 2003. (Sunstar)

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