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Fire victims receive gifts to start a new life

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 15:3 PM | ARTICLE BY | Luisa Cabato
Tzu Chi volunteers join forces in the relief operation for the fire victims in Barangay Talayan, Quezon City. The fire victims received relief items such as blankets, kitchen utensils, used clothes, and sleeping mats. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】

Story Highlights

  • Street of Barangay Talayan in Quezon City. A total of 383 families received relief aid from the foundation such as blanket, kitchen utensils, clothes, among others.
  • The fire incident happened on August 11 at 9 o’clock in the morning. It was put out before 1    o’clock in the afternoon. A 67-year-old man was the only casualty from the fire.

A peaceful morning in Calamba Street at Barangay Talayan, Quezon City was disturbed by a massive fire that broke out at 9 o’clock on August 11. It affected a total of 396 families or 1,759 individuals.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) raised its fifth alarm at around 9:30 a.m. The fire was put out before 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

The fire allegedly started after a resident spilled a pail of paint and thinner on the flooring of his mother’s house and lit it up using a match stick. He was agitated when his mother did not give him money for his drug addiction.

One casualty was reported after the fire incident.

Elpidio “Boy” Dela Cruz, 67, was already at a safe place when the fire broke out but decided to go back into his house to save his belongings. He never made it out again.

Meanwhile, two of the thousands of fire victims are Tzu Chi’s recycling volunteers. Annie Santome and Magdalena Nagas lost all their belongings after the incident.

146 families currently stay at Talayan covered court. Thirty-two families have sought shelter at the chapel, 33 families are staying at the barangay hall, while 185 families evacuated to their relatives and friends in different places.

The fire victims are still in shock and have no idea how to rebuild their lives after the catastrophe.

Four days after the incident, Tzu Chi Foundation brought the fire victims relief goods. A relief program was held at the open field area near the Talayan covered court. Residents shed tears as a volunteer lead the prayer for the victims’ recovery.

“We were not able to save our belongings. The clothes we are wearing are what’s only left to us. What’s more painful is that we just buried my son a few days ago. I am thankful that I was able to finish all the errands for his funeral before the fire happened,” shares fire victim Adelina Sta. Clara.

 Tzu Chi volunteers worked together from the registration up to the relief goods distribution.

383 families benefitted from the relief operation.

Since most of them completely lost their belongings, Tzu Chi provided each family with blanket, kitchen utensils, sleeping mat, packs of clothes, and other basic household necessities to ease their worries for the challenging months of recovery ahead.

“Most of them are distressed and shocked for what happened to their homes because this is the first incident that a massive fire caught our barangay,” says Barangay Talayan chairwoman Virginia Ongtauco.

Chairwoman Ongtauco also helped the volunteers in handing out the relief goods for her constituents.

“Thank you so much Tzu Chi Foundation. We are happy because of the gifts you have given to us,” says Wilma Magallanes, one of the fire victims.

Happiness can be seen from the faces of the recipients as they received the relief aid from Tzu Chi. Tzu Chi volunteers’ love and compassion brought hope to the fire victims that they can rebuild their lives again.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2017 15:3 PM

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