Due to inadequate power in the evacuation area in barangay Tisa, Cebu City, fire victims had to walk about two kilometers to the barangay hall just to get food.
Dr. Ester Concha, chief of the Department of Social Welfare Services (DSWS), told Cebu Daily News that her office asked that government vehicles be used to fetch the residents to the barangay hall, where they can get packed food.
The DSWS started distributing packed food last Saturday evening and will continue to do so after two days.
“It’s tough to distribute at the evacuation site in barangay Tisa since there’s no light,” Concha said.
She said she asked city officials to install lighting to evacuation centers to make food distribution easier.
Concha said they set up eight tents and installed portable toilets for the victims.
The DSWS list showed there were 130 families affected or about 550 persons including children.
Concha said there were more than 10 people living in some of the homes.
Chief Insp. William Tacaldo Jr., Cebu City fire marshal, said their initial investigation showed that the fire started in the two-storey house of a certain Nora Alingasa. He said Alingasa’s house was made of light materials.
The fire started in the room of Oscar Alingasa at the ground floor.
The ceiling in Oscar’s room was made of dismantled boxes.
Tacaldo said prior to the fire incident Oscar fixed the wiring inside his room.
Moments later a fire broke out, destroying 81 houses and damaging five more.
Tacaldo said fire investigators will return to barangay Tisa for additional details.
He said the fire would have been put out if there were fire hydrants in the site.
They used a fire hydrant a few meters away. One fire truck loaded water and then fed it to seven other fire trucks near the area.
Tacaldo said two new fire trucks capable of storing 1,060 gallons of water were used to climb the hilly area where the fire broke out.
Concha said their office will distribute disaster boxes containing one mat, two pairs of slippers, toiletry and other groceries for the fire victims. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos, Correspondent