Noon fire razes 42 homes in barangay Day-as, Cebu CityBy Jhunnex Napallacan, Joy Cherry S. Quito
Cebu Daily News
Teresa Herrera was home alone when she saw smoke and flames coming out of her home in sitio Tender Heart, barangay Day-as, Cebu City past 12 noon yesterday.
“Nakuyawan ko. Ang sunog naa na sa ako atubangan (I was afraid. I could already see the fire in front of me),” she said.
A paralytic, Teresa could only cry out in alarm in the hope that someone would save her. Two neighbors showed up in time and carried her outside to a barangay gym in Imus Street where she and 306 other persons took shelter.
The fire destroyed houses in three sitios.
Barangay captain Rey Ellery Cañada said the fire hit sitios Moon Face, Buli and Tender Heart and burned down 35 houses and damaged seven others.
Dino Dinayanao suffered burns in his arm and back after he tried to save his belongings.
Two other paralytics were saved from the fire by neighbors.
Cañada, who was preparing food for 1,000 registered voters for his birthday celebration, called an emergency session last night to declare the three sitios under calamity status.
He said the fire began at the house of an elderly woman, Ambrosia Empenado, at sitio Moon Face. She was rescued by her neighbor after the fire spread to other homes.
Cañada said the woman was cooking a meal over firewood and left it unattended.
Cebu City Fire Marshall William Tacaldo Jr. said they received the alarm at 12:51 p.m. and the fire was put out three hours later.
He said the narrow road leading to the sitios made it difficult for firefighters to connect their hose to the nearest fire hydrant.
They were forced to close the right side lane of Imus road and T. Padilla Street for two hours.
Some residents broke the Metro Cebu Water District (MCWD) meter to help firefighters put out the fire.
The vigil wake of a certain Felix Arranguez had to be moved away from the fire.
Grandson Aldin Aranguez said he and his uncles helped each other in transferring the coffin after the fire reached the chapel in sitio Tender Heart.
Neighbors helped bedridden paralytics like Teresa Herrera and Antonio Binarao escape the spreading blaze.
Violeta Binarao said neighbors helped her and her son bring out her 65-year-old husband after the fire spread to their home.
Violeta, who worked as a statistician at the National Statistics Office, said Antonio suffered a stroke three years ago.
Violeta went home after seeing the smoke rising in the area.
“I told my son to help my neighbors bring out my husband,” she said.
Teresa said while her house was burned down by the fire, she still counts herself fortunate that there were good people to help her.
Mae Mansueto said she was at home taking care of her two children when the fire broke out.
She brought out her kids and whatever she could carry out of the house that she and her husband had rented for a decade.
Cañada, who prepared five lechons (roasted pigs) for his birthday celebration, donated one lechon for the fire victims.
He said anyone can course their donations to the barangay Day-as hall for distribution to the families.
He said he and barangay officials were asking the Cebu City government for assistance for the fire victims. With Correspondents Gabriel C. Bonjoc and Chito Aragon