Fire leaves 1,000 homeless in CDO PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 May 2016 14:47

A five-hour fire Friday night left more than 1,000 residents homeles in Cagayan de Oro City.

The blaze broke out at the city’s most densely populated areas at Sitio Tulay Semento, Agora, Barangay Lapasan. Agora.

The City Fire department said an initial investigation showed that the fire started at the house of a resident around 9 pm, when half of the city had a power outage.

The Bureau of Fire Protection said the fire was placed under control by 12 midnight but the firemen continued working until dawn Saturday before declaring fire out.

Estimated damage was placed at P5 million.

Rappler quoted Teddy Sabugaa, the City Social Welfare Development Officer, as saying based on their initial data Saturday morning, a total of 1,028 individuals were affected.

The victims were taken to the Lapasan Covered Court where they were given them calamity kits.

“Our CSWD team, in coordination with the barangay leaders, conducted ongoing relief assistance containing sleeping mat, blanket, mosquito net, bowls, glass, plates personal hygiene kit, 5 kg rice, noodles, sardines,” Sabugaa said.

He added that the city health office is giving medical assistance to the victims especially women, the elderly, and children.

The city fire department said it was still investigating the cause of the fire but suspected it might have been caused by the use of candles during the power outage.

The city fire department also denied speculations that two children were killed during the blaze. Authorities said there were no fatalities.

Residents in the area said the fire spread quickly, the flames fanned by strong wind as the area is located near the shoreline.

The fire trucks also had a hard time penetrating the area as Agora is one of the most traffic-congested areas in the city.

The fire trucks need to go around the port area to access the site.

Resident Rizaldy Macalala said that heavy traffic at the agora bus terminal contributed to the delayed response of the fire trucks.

Macalala said had it not been for the new coastal road project constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways, more houses could have been burned down.

Honorato Tuto, a resident since 1978, said that it was the second time their area was razed to the ground,.“The first was in 1996. The entire area was also razed [to the ground],” Tuto said.

Christopher Bajuyo said he was at work when the fire broke. “I had to leave my work to rescue my family. I had to run to get here because of the traffic,” Bajuyo said.