CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/08 December) — At least 50 families will spend the Holidays without a roof over their heads after an early morning fire razed 26 houses to the ground with several others partially destroyed at Piaping Puti, Barangay Macabalan, this city, Wednesday.
In a text message, Armen Cuenca, chief operating officer of the Cagayan de Oro Assistance to Life and Emergency Rescue Team (Oro Alert) said the fire started at the house of a certain Filemon Catiil, an elderly who lives alone.
Cuenca said the Bureau of Fire Protection was able to put out the blaze at almost 5:00 a.m.
He added the fire victims are temporarily taking shelter at the Macabalan Multi-Purpose Building located near the barangay hall.
Piaping Puti has been known to be an enclave of houses of wharf and factory workers which are usually made of light indigenous materials.
Bureau of Fire Protection officials pegged the damage at P2 million.
Avelina Velono, who lives four houses away from Catiil, said that the house of the latter had no electric connection and only used kerosene lamps.
“Nalimtan siguro sa tiguwang pagpalong sa iyang moron ug duda ko maoy hinungdan sa pagsugod sa kalayo,” (Maybe the old man forgot to put out his lamp, and I think that started the fire) Velono said.
Velono said she was not able to salvage any of her belongings as the fire spread faster than she could recover from the initial shock.
“Wala na jud ko’y nakuha kay dali ra kaayo mi tabok ang kalayo,” (I saved nothing because the fire spread rapidly) she said.
City Social Welfare Department head Nina Salon told reporters that they had listed at least 50 families who were affected.
She said that 26 houses were destroyed completely and several houses were partially destroyed.
She added they were still in the process of completing the list since several families live in one house in the area. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)