3 fires in Danao, Cebu City cause over P55M in damage

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THREE fires hit Cebu City and Danao City, causing more than P55 million worth of damage in less than 24 hours.

Firefighters responded to the first fire alarm on Thursday afternoon, June 2, 2022, in Victor Village in Barangay Punta Princesa in Cebu City where the damage to two houses reached P2.7 million.

Later that evening, the public market in Barangay Poblacion, Danao City caught fire, causing P52.2 million worth of damage after at least 100 stalls burned down.

Then at past 4 a.m. Friday, June 3, firefighters responded to another fire, this time in Barangay Busay, Cebu City.

The flames gobbled up a barbecue stall and two other food stalls, causing damage of P360,000.

Danao market

On the public market fire, Senior Fire Officer 1 Russel Fritz Abellana of the Danao City Fire Station said they received the fire alarm at 8:18 p.m., declared the fire under control at 9:52 p.m. but could only declare the fire out at 6 a.m. the next day as they still had to undertake “fire overhauling.”

“Fire overhauling” refers to the search for hidden flames, to ensure that the fire would not return as there were still embers that could cause a fire if whipped up by the wind.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection’s initial information, the market fire started at the stall of Janice Capul. Then it spread to the stall behind it selling dry goods and the stall in front of Capul’s which was selling cooking oil.

Senior Fire Officer 1 Ronald Telledua of the Danao City Fire Station said the presence of the oil and the vendors’ belongings, boxes and other flammable materials made it hard for the firefighters to put out the fire immediately.

Telledua gave the P52.2 million estimate of the damage at the market.

Market closed

He also said Friday that during their meeting with Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III they had agreed to temporarily close the public market and transfer the stall owners to other areas.

Following meetings with the market vendors and a closed-door meeting of the local government unit’s (LGU) department heads and officials, the City Fishport was identified as the Temporary Fish Market, while the City Abattoir would become the Temporary Meat Market while the City Motorpool was still being cleared for the transfer of the vendors there.

The Danao City Government personnel met with the affected market vendors on Friday morning to address their concerns.

Michelle Mondigo, information officer of Danao City, said in a television interview that the public market had 779 stall owners, but they could not identify yet how many had been affected by the fire.

She said they will temporarily relocate those in the wet section of the market, or the ones selling fish, to the City Fish Port.

“Naa man gud motorpool ang Danao pero kailangan pa siya i-clearing kay nahimo man gud siya nga stockroom sa government equipment, so itransfer pod to sa laing barangay aron malimpyohan. So once malimpyohan nato ang meat section, temporarily karong hapon adto i-house sa City abattoir ibalhin puhon adto sa temporary gyud nga meat market didto sa City Government motorpool,” she added.

(Danao has a motorpool, but it still needs to be cleared because it has been turned into a stockroom for government equipment. So these have to be transferred to another barangay so the place can be cleaned. Once we have cleaned the meat section, temporarily this afternoon, it will be housed in the City Abbatoir. Then it will be transferred to the temporary meat market at the City Government Motorpool.)

Cash assistance

On Friday afternoon, the Danao City Government announced that financial assistance for the market vendors was being prepared and would be taken from the LGU’s Quick Response Fund.

In a Facebook post, it said the Sangguniang Panlungsod had held a special session for this resolution, and that other steps would soon follow to enable the LGU to distribute the cash assistance immediately.

The LGU said affected vendors could start selling at the identified temporary market relocation areas once they secured authorization or certification from the City Administrator’s Office.

The City had yet to announce the relocation site for the other market sections.

The public market had over 16 sections.

Affected vendors were asked to approach the help desk at the Civic Center where they could fill out a profiling form that would be the basis for the relocation and financial assistance provided by the Danao City Government.

As initial assistance for the vendors, the LGU said distribution of relief goods began on Friday afternoon.

Capitol

The Provincial Government, meanwhile, expressed readiness to help the stall owners affected by the fire at the Danao City Public Market.

Cebu Fifth District Provincial Board Member Andrei “Red” Duterte said he had talked to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Rep. Duke Frasco (Cebu, 5th district), who are willing to help the people affected.

“Nagkastorya na mi ni Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. Mo tabang ang Kapitolyo sa mga naapektaran na mga negosyante sa sulod sa atong merkado. Kami ni Board Mike Villamor ang mo asikaso sa paghatag ni Gov. Gwen ug dugang na impormasyon bahin sa nahitabong sunog. Motabang pud si Congressman Duke Frasco of Liloan pinaagi sa panudlanan sa Kongreso,” said Duterte.

(I’ve spoken with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia. The Capitol will help the affected entrepreneurs in our market. Board Member Mike Villamor and I will take care of giving Governor Gwen more information on the fire. Congressman Duke Frasco of Liloan will also help through congressional funds.) / (With CTL, LMY)

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