THE fire that struck Sitio Bukog in Barangay T. Padilla, Cebu City last Saturday night, Jan. 4, 2020, proved to be fatal.
It claimed the life of 80-year-old Merlina Abellana, who succumbed to her injuries on Sunday, Jan. 5.
Her son Rene, 39, remains in critical condition inside the Intensive Care Unit of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
The two were trapped inside their house when the fire broke out, according to Barangay Councilor Irene Nadala.
It was later learned that the fire started in the house owned by Rodrigo Avila.
The blaze destroyed 40 houses and damaged 63 others, displacing 150 persons, or 90 families.
The Barangay Council will convene an emergency session on Tuesday, Jan. 7, so it can place the barangay under a state of calamity.
Nadala, chairperson of the committee on finance and social services, said the barangay still has P100,000 in its calamity fund from last year. She said she and her colleagues will make sure all fire survivors will receive cash aid from the barangay.
The barangay also plans to extend financial assistance to the family of Abellana.
“Ang burial assistance hatagan usab ang pamilya sa kadtong namatyan. Lahi ni nga pinansiyal nga ihatag kadtong para sa tanan (The Abellana family will receive burial assistance, which is different from the financial assistance the barangay will extend to the survivors),” Nadala said.
SFO3 Lowell Opolentesima, chief of the Cebu City Fire Station, said they have yet to determine the cause of the blaze since the fire scene is still in shambles.
However, he said they’re looking at two possibilities: overloading of electricity or a plugged appliance. (BBT / PJB)