Bankerohan fire victims lament loss of homes

Jan. 18, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Ester Dalag, age 64, was on her way home from a medical check-up, worrying about her frail lungs, when she found the house she rented at Baraico Purok 2 Bankerohan Riverside was among the houses burned down Wednesday morning.

She could only watch from afar, she told Davao Today, as fire fighters put out the fire, and neighbors scamper for safety or try to retrieve whatever they can put out from their homes.

“I could only watch from afar as the house was burned,” she lamented.

Now, Dalag has more worries aside from her medication, as her family has to find a house to relocate in the city. Her son is the only member of the family with a job as store clerk.

Sixty houses burned down in Purok 2 on Wednesday morning around 10:55 am, and most of these are rented houses for people working in the city. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFO)-Davao estimated the damages amounted to around P 630,000.

The cause of the fire, according to the BFP, was a faulty appliance.

Another resident, Rafael, 29, who works as a tricycle driver, said he could only bring his two children to safety during the fire and did not retrieve anything from his house.

“Everything happened so fast, all of our belongings were quickly swallowed by the fire,” Rafael said. It was his first time to experience this incident.

Dalag, Rafael and other residents left homeless on Wednesday’s fire temporarily took shelter at the gymnasium in Barangay 5-A. Others went back to their former homes to scour for wood and other materials they can salvage.

Rafael hopes the barangay officials can decide if they will be allowed to settle back in the area.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office said they will provide P10,000 cash aid for residents who lost their homes, and P5,000 for those whose houses suffered partial damage.

Renters will receive P5,000 while boarders will get P2,000.(

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