52 families homeless in Mandaue blaze

11/26/2010 - CEBU, Philippines – A noontime blaze at the Perez Compound in barangay Alang-alang, Mandaue City left 52 families homeless with a total of 29 houses totally burned and three others partially damaged.

Fire probers have estimated the damage to be P480,000.

The fire alarm was raised at 12:40 p.m. and firefighters were able to put it under control 15 minutes later.

Mandaue City Fire Marshal Rogelio Bongabong said that they raised the second alarm to get more firemen on the scene.

Witnesses said that the fire started at the house of Merlyn QuiƱo, 48.

Quino admitted that the fire started in a vacant room in their house. The room, she said, has not been used for years.

She, however, suspects that the fire might have been triggered by three kids, who were playing near her house or it could have caught fire from the dirty kitchen of the residence of a certain Toto Apanan.

No one was injured in the blaze.

A mini cab worth P50,000 owned by former boxer Brix Flores, 44, was burned as he could not anymore save it when the fire raged as the thick smoke prevented him from going to his residence.

What made it difficult for the firefighters to penetrate the fire scene was that it was in an area surrounded by concrete houses.

Fire teams had to connect their hoses to reach the area.

Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, who rushed to the fire scene, said that the firewalls also prevented fire from spreading.

City Social Welfare Service (CSWS) head Violeta Cavada said that as of 5 p.m. yesterday they had listed a total of 52 families affected.

Of the victims, 27 families owned their houses while 25 others were renters.

Cavada said that the city government provided the fire victims with tents as their temporary shelter.

The victims refused to leave the place because of thieves, who might prey on them.

Cavada also said that the city government will provide cooked food for the victims for three days.

Cortes assured the victims that the city will provide the victims with housing materials to help them rebuild their homes. - (FREEMAN)


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