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Big Fire in Cambodia


The month March is already closing, and obviously this year’s summer is also about to start. Now, unfortunately a big fire did unexpectedly happen yesterday morning in Tetuan. By rough estimate, at the writing of this article, there were about 100 houses which were affected or razed to the ground, that also in more than 1-hour time. The exact location of the fire was in Sitio Cambodia, Tetuan.

Just to give you a little description, Cambodia is an interior community which can be passed through that narrow interior in the Tetuan highway towards Tugbungan, and across the Falcatan Road. It can also be passed through the Madrazo Compound or at the side of the Zamboanga City High School (ZCHS) Main. Most of the houses, which were affected, were made up of light materials. Thus, the conflagration was able to spread rapidly.

There were those who were also hurt, but the thing which challenged more the tanods and the police were the presence of heartless thieves—who were just around to steal the victims. Accordingly, they would first appear to offer help carry the victims’ valuables, but in no time, those same things they carried, they also stole.

Such is already usual here and anytime when fire happens in La Bella. Barangay eMedia interviewed the Tetuan Police Station (PS11) Commander—PSupt. Nonito Pangalison Asdai, he assured the people that his policemen were already around to help then secure the property of the victims. The fire situation in Cambodia was so fast, so that the operatives around could also hardly keep everything, at the same time. But sure they did all of their best.

Meanwhile, Barangay  eMedia saw also the presence of the Tetuan Barangay Captain, John Dalipe, who was in the place during the entire fire, to at least man the needed assistance of the victims. Dalipe then coordinated the principal of the (ZCHS) Main. Right away the latter generously offered two buildings of the school, particularly buildings D and G.

Despite that (ZCHS) Main will have its graduation program in few days, of their grade 10 levels. Yet due to the critical situation, the school willingly shared a space for the victims. Although its principal implored that if possible the Tetuan Central Elementary School (TCES) may also offer some of its rooms for the evacuees.

Obviously, here is again another sure trial for our City. Think of it, the needy victims are at least a hundred families. The temporary expenses which our City local government may spend will be millions of pesos again. Albeit, nobody wanted the fire. It was a total calamity, which simply meant that it was beyond the control of the residents in the place.

Initially, the victims themselves said that they just heard something a small explosion or spark, to one of the houses in the place, which did later spread the big fire in the entire community. But according to the City Fire Marshall, its initial investigation found that the reason of the fire was an unattended cooking.

When Barangay eMedia reporters gathered the news, they saw one old mother who fainted and was rushed to the hospital. Probably, the said woman had her blood pressure went up, due to the calamity. Partner Jack Edward Enriquez met also students from the (ZCHS) Main, as rushing towards the Cambodia community in tears and trembling.

The presumption was that they too were amongst the victims of the fire. Maybe they were still in school, to comply their needed requirements. But the tragedy hit their houses unexpectedly. They also ran towards the location of the fire, by thinking that they still could help save their valuables. It breaks one’s heart to see those scenario.

Apparently, the lives of the victims will adjust then gradually. After all, no one can live with his past and at the same time move forward. It hurts though, but their sole option is to let go of their nightmare, so to speak, and to gradually adapt the change. We empathize the victims and their plight. May God give them the necessary grace to overcome this new trial!

“The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” (Prov. 30:1-5, ESV)

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