A fire which broke out in a seaside shanty area in Tagbilaran City at past midnight on Friday claimed the lives of a family of three people, including a nine-year-old child, and displaced an estimated 73 families, authorities said.
According to City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief Gerald Lavadia, the fire which raged for two hours and 30 minutes burned down an estimated 50 houses and affected 300 individuals living near the Tagbilaran City Port in Barangay Poblacion II.
“Na ugdaw gyud ni kay made of light materials maning mga balay daplin sa dagat. Naglisod atong kabomberohan tungod kay layo, tua sa dagat pa ang mga balay unya mo take pa og time sa pagpalusot sa mga hose,” said Lavadia.
Lavadia added that the blaze quickly spread due to the closeness of the houses in the area which were made of light materials.
Emergency responders confirmed that they found three charred remains in one of the razed houses.
Ken Requeron, a government employee who was among those affected by the fire, identified the fatalities as Remedios Arocha Baluca, 50; Edgar Manzano, 50; and their daughter Meyer Manzano, 9.
According to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office chief Anthony Damalerio, the fire started at the first floor of the Manzano residence which then quickly spread to other houses in the area.
“Confirmed na ang tulo ka patay, amahan, inahan ug ang bata, Gagakos kuno sila sa second floor sa balay, ang ground floor ana maoy gisugdan sa sunog,” said Damalerio.
It was noted by authorities that several others who were also trapped in their homes were able to escape by jumping into the Tagbilaran City Bay.
FO3 Irven Bongalos of the Tagbilaran City Fire Station said the fire started at past midnight. They were able to declare fire out at 3:35 a.m.
He said the fire reached the second alarm prompting fire stations in the towns of Panglao, Dauis, Baclayon, Corella, and Cortes to also deploy personnel and equipment to the area.
Fire trucks of the CDRRMO, BQ and Alturas also assisted in putting out the fire.
Meanwhile, the CDRRMO designated the Poblacion II gymnasium as evacuation center where modular tents were set up and the Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School.
Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap went to the scene of the fire and oversaw the evacuation and relief efforts.
“Naa pod tay gi distribute nga Disaster Kits nga naay banig, unlan, habol, plato, baso, kutchara, tinidor, hygiene kits, tsinelas ug mga tambal. On-site ga provide ta ug hot-meals ug botted water. Karon dayon ga profiling na atong CSWD para ma identify tanan victims,” said Yap. (R. Tutas)