Kam­puthaw fire dis­places 700

Losses at P1M; fate of fam­i­lies un­cer­tain since UP Cebu owns lots

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Delta Dyrecka Leti­gio and Morex­ette Marie Er­ram PHO­TOS BY JUNJIE MEN­DOZA and LITO TEC­SON

At least 194 fam­i­lies of Sitio Purok 3 River­side in Bar an gay K am­put haw, Cebu City, will spend their Christ­mas in evac­u­a­tion sites.

Their mis­for­tune came af­ter they lost their homes and be­long­ings to a fire that broke out in their area at 10:20 a.m. yes­ter­day.

The fire raged for more than six hours as it de­stroyed 107 houses in the densely pop­u­lated in­te­rior area.

Cebu City fire­fight­ers had to raise the fire alarm to Task Force Al­pha to se­cure aid from neigh­bor­ing fire sta­tions in the cities of Man­daue and Tal­isay.

The fire was put out at 4:14 p.m. and dis­placed 700 per­sons who are housed at the Kam­puthaw gym.

Cebu City Fire Mar­shall Noel Abapon pegged ini­tial dam­ages at P1 mil­lion.

He said the cause of the fire in Kam­puthaw has yet to be iden­ti­fied.

Abapon said while the fire trucks eas­ily sur­rounded the af­fected area, lack of in­te­rior ac­cess roads pre­vented fire- fight­ers from en­ter­ing the site.

Kam­puthaw Barangay Cap­tain Jes­sica Cadun­gog said they will de­clare a state of calamity to se­cure fund­ing from the Cebu City govern­ment.

She said their calamity fund is nearly de­pleted af­ter it was used for the fam­i­lies who lost their homes also due to a fire last Aug. 4.

“I called for an emer­gency coun­cil meet­ing. Our calamity fund is run­ning low be­cause of the pre­vi­ous fire in Lower Kam­puthaw be­fore. We will need to ask for help from the city,” she said.

City So­cial Wel­fare Ser­vices chief Flora Bar­tolome said they are pro­cess­ing the fi­nan­cial aid for the fam­i­lies who will each re­ceive P20,000 cash and re­lief packs.

For now the dis­placed fam­i­lies may have to stay at the Kam­puthaw barangay evac­u­a­tion cen­ter and at the open field of the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines Cebu (UP Cebu) near the li­brary for some time.

Genevieve Al­coseba, opera- tions of­fi­cer of the Di­vi­sion of Wel­fare of the Ur­ban Poor (DWUP), said the lots where the burnt houses stood are owned by the school.

She said they will ne­go­ti­ate with UP Cebu of­fi­cials to al­low the set­tlers to re­build their homes.

“We’re try­ing our best for fire vic­tims to re­con­struct their houses be­cause we don’t want any­one to be dis­placed and left home­less af­ter they strug­gled through a dis­as­ter. The city will try its best to ne­go­ti­ate with UP Cebu,” Al­coseba said.

Sought for UP Cebu’s com­ments, Chan­cel­lor Liza Corro told CEBU DAILY NEWS in a text mes­sage that they are wait­ing on the city govern­ment’s re- quest for a meet­ing on this case.

“I will just wait for their re­quest for a meet­ing. We will take it from there, in what­ever will be our de­ci­sion,” Corro said.

CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

Res­i­dents, whose houses were not yet eaten by fire, hose wa­ter into the burn­ing houses in an ef­fort to save theirs.

Black smoke bil­lows up and clouds the sky as fire fight­ers work through the crowded fire site to put out the fire that hit a res­i­den­tial area in Barangay Kam­puthaw, Cebu City.

Emer­gency teams as­sist the dis­placed set­tlers such as one woman who fainted af­ter see­ing her home eaten by flames (left) while oth­ers save what­ever be­long­ings they can from the ashes of their houses.

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