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Big fire in Lahug last night: 526 left homeless, no deaths


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 http://www.philstar.com/cebu-news/2015/12/27/1536683/blaze-leaves-526-homeless

 

CEBU, Philippines – It’s going to be a grim new year for at least 526 residents (124 families) of Sitio Avocado, Lahug, Cebu City when a fire razed their houses dinnertime last night.

At least 55 houses were affected by the fire. No one died from the fire but two were reported to have been brought to the hospital due to asthma attack and hypertension.

 The community was celebrating the feast of its patron saint, Sagrada Familia, when the fire broke at the house of one Rosemarie Villarin.

Formal probe is ongoing but Villarin, 46, told investigators her house did not have electricity at that time so she lighted a candle while she was folding clothes. She had to leave her spot, however, when she had to fix her grandchild a bottle of milk when the child cried. When she returned, the clothes had already caught fire.

Because many of the houses in the neighborhood were made of light materials, the fire spread quickly.

Firefighters received the alarm at 6:22 p.m. and placed the fire under control about an hour later.


 
 

The alarm last night was raised to Task Force Bravo, which meant neighboring cities and towns helped respond to the alarm. Damage was estimated at P1 million.

Sitio Avocado is located right across the Lahug Barangay Hall along Gorordo Avenue, a major thoroughfare uptown. A portion of the road had to be closed to vehicle traffic when firefighters were at the scene.

Survivors will be housed temporarily at the barangay sports complex and the Lahug Elementary School nearby.

Vice Mayor Edgar Labella urged the barangay council to hold an emergency session so that the barangay can be placed under a state of calamity. Doing so would allow the barangay to utilize calamity funds that can be used to help the victims.

The city’s Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS) has provided the victims food, as well as basic necessities such as sleeping mats, blankets, and clean water.

The city also plans of reblocking the area, considering that firefighters had a difficult time penetrating it owing to very narrow passageways. Water had to be sprayed from the main road. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

 

Edited by Woolf
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SunStar

 

Fire hits residential area in Brgy. Lahug

 

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2015/12/26/fire-hits-residential-area-brgy-lahug-448735

 

brgy-lahug-fire_0.jpg?itok=HT98gGb-

(Photo by Iste Sesante-Leopoldo)

UPDATED -- FIRE razed at least 100 houses, many of them made of wood, in Sitio Avocado, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City last night.

A candle reportedly caused the blaze, which started in the two-storey house of Rosemarie Villarin.

Investigators pegged the damage to property at P1 million.

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who went to the fire scene across the Lahug barangay hall and beside the University of the Philippines campus, said he will urge the City Council to declare the site under a state of calamity during the special session tomorrow.

“Those bona fide victims will be given P10,000 as financial assistance, cooking materials and construction materials,” he said.

The barangay council will also convene to make a similar declaration, so financial aid can be given to the victims who are temporarily living in the Lahug Elementary School and the barangay gym.

Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also inspected the fire scene.

Fire Chief Inspector Ronaldo Orbeta said they still have to verify the number of families affected by the fire, which the fire department learned about at 6:22 p.m.

The fire alarm was raised to Task Force Alpha, which meant that all available firefighting teams were supposed to respond.

Because the sitio has no interior roads, Orbeta said they had to connect hoses.

Firefighters contained the flames and kept these from spreading to other houses past 7 p.m.

Labella said he instructed the City’s Department of Social Welfare and Services to provide food for the victims. They started doing so last night.

As of 9:30 p.m., City Hall listed 55 houses razed and one house damaged, displacing 126 families or 537 individuals. (The list was still being updated.)

Rosemarie, 46, said she lit a candle and placed it on top of a plastic drawer near a pile of clothes past 6 p.m. She had let her grandson Jake, 4, sleep on a mat on the second floor. She later went down to the kitchen to make a drink.

When Rosemarie returned to where Jake was, she saw the flames eating the ceiling.

Jake was awakened by the heat and jumped to the lower floor.

Kaluoy sa Diyos, luwas tawon siya ug wala’y naunsa namo bisag wala mi nadala (By God’s mercy, Jake is safe and no one among us was hurt, although we managed to save nothing),” she said.

 


 

 

Gift lost, too

Her son Clyde, 14, said they lost their clothes and valuables, including P3,000 cash they received as Christmas gifts from relatives and friends.

Para sa New Year ta tong kwartaha kay wala gyud mi ka-celebrate pag Pasko kay wa mi mga trabaho (We were going to use that money for New Year’s Eve. We didn’t celebrate Christmas because none of us have jobs),” he said.

He said their house had three rooms. His family has been living in the place for more than 20 years.

Wa mi kahibawo asa padung ron (We don’t know where to go),” said Clyde, who was barefoot. “Apil ni sa trials gikan ni Lord (This is one of the Lord’s trials for us).”

He knew at least 14 families displaced by the fire, including that of a pastor who led their Bible study classes.

Neighbor Diday Ramos said the affected houses had stood closely to one other. Ramos said that the lot belonged to the state university.

Karon pa ni nasunog (This is our first fire here),” she said. “Way ayo kay liwas Pasko, na ingon ani mi (It’s terrible that this happened to us this Christmas).” (Sunnex)

 

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SkyMan

 

 

FIRE razed at least 100 houses

 

Investigators pegged the damage to property at P1 million.
100 houses for under $22K?
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delancey

100 houses for under $22K?

And the lady that may have started the fire may have had no electricity no job and yet the P3K she lost in the fire was intended for a party.

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Tullioz

100 houses for under $22K?

 

If it was a squatter area that sounds about right. Following the fire here in Davao last year we were rebuilding houses for around P10k each on average. They were very basic nipa houses with no electricity or plumbing. 

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liquido

It amazes me that these type of fires do not happen more often....

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SkyMan

If it was a squatter area that sounds about right. Following the fire here in Davao last year we were rebuilding houses for around P10k each on average. They were very basic nipa houses with no electricity or plumbing. 

So these are squatters (as in have no legal right to live there) and the gov't is paying them to rebuild these fire traps.  

 

Because the sitio has no interior roads, Orbeta said they had to connect hoses.
And we can assume this will not change.

 

So I'm living in this squatter area thinking I need a few pesos to get some smokes, Tanduay, a girl.  Maybe if this area somehow catches fire they'll give me p10K to rebuild, what a deal.

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If it was a squatter area that sounds about right. Following the fire here in Davao last year we were rebuilding houses for around P10k each on average. They were very basic nipa houses with no electricity or plumbing.

Is the P10k from government in cash? If they really want to rebuild, why not grant P100k or 200k each to some developer and also get a little payback and some respect for themselves doing good things? Nobody would get promoted by building shitty nipa house....

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Tullioz

So these are squatters (as in have no legal right to live there) and the gov't is paying them to rebuild these fire traps.  

 

The land was owned by the city and the government allowed the people to build there. There was a presidential decree already in place that allowed this type of habitation on the property where the fire occurred and they were allowed to rebuild in the same location. They are fire traps as you said and another disaster waiting to happen. At least they did build access roads following the fire, so the fire trucks will be able to get into the neighborhood next time unlike before.

 

Is the P10k from government in cash? If they really want to rebuild, why not grant P100k or 200k each to some developer and also get a little payback and some respect for themselves doing good things? Nobody would get promoted by building shitty nipa house....

 

The fire in Davao was massive and displaced more than 3,500 families (Over 10,000 people). The city did give each home owner P10k cash and each renter P3k, but many of the homes were rebuilt through donations from local organizations and other NGOs, and the P10k was able to be used for other things. Believe it or not, the people that lived in the nipa huts actually prefer them to homes that we consider to be more acceptable by our standards. Following the siege in Zamboanga as another example, the city offered to build concrete houses at another site, but the people refused and instead preferred their traditional less expensive nipa homes be rebuilt in the original location. It's just a cultural thing.  

Edited by Tullioz
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Since the land is owned by the government, can't the government just force it to people whether they like it or not?

 

The nipa home seems to me just another example of things that should be got rid of. It requires no broker, no developer, no inspector, no maintenance team, no permit or bureaucracy to stamp anything or issuing licenses to anyone involved, and probably no need of air conditioning as well. That can't be good to business!

 

 

 

I hope they'd not waste this golden opportunity this time...

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Since the land is owned by the government, can't the government just force it to people whether they like it or not?

 

The nipa home seems to me just another example of things that should be got rid of. It requires no broker, no developer, no inspector, no maintenance team, no permit or bureaucracy to stamp anything or issuing licenses to anyone involved, and probably no need of air conditioning as well. That can't be good to business!

 

 

 

I hope they'd not waste this golden opportunity this time...

 

 

Some people have to accept reality,  not everyone can live in a dream world

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Nangulo

 

 

At least they did build access roads following the fire, so the fire trucks will be able to get into the neighborhood next time unlike before.

 

I've been up close and personal to two fires, one in Cebu City and one in Surigao City, and both times these 'access roads' were filled with people carrying their TVs, aparadors, kitchen sinks, etc., which prevented the fire trucks from getting in.

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So these are squatters (as in have no legal right to live there) and the gov't is paying them to rebuild these fire traps.  

 

And we can assume this will not change.

 

So I'm living in this squatter area thinking I need a few pesos to get some smokes, Tanduay, a girl.  Maybe if this area somehow catches fire they'll give me p10K to rebuild, what a deal.

So you'd like to swap places with them?

 

 

For those suggesting rebuilding with concrete, bear in mind concrete buildings are hotter and these folk often don't have electric for even a fan, nevermind A/C.

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