Balagtas, Bulacan fire victims narrate ordeal; get visit from governor

Published June 18, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Freddie Velez

BALAGTAS, Bulacan – Nine families were left homeless after a fire ravaged a residential area in Barangay Wawa here last Saturday (June 6), prompting Governor Daniel R. Fernando to visit them to deliver aid.

One of the victims, Calixto Villasenor, 67, was thankful for the assistance although still grieving for his loss. His wife Elma, 60, died in the fire.

“Talaga pong masakit at mahirap sa ‘min ‘yung nangyari. Wala po talagang natira, pero anumang natanggap namin ay ipinagpapasalamat ko,” ( What happened was indeed painful and difficult for us. Nothing was left, but for whatever we received, I am very grateful),” Villasenor said.

Fire Officer 1 Silaga of the Office of the Provincial Fire Marshall (OPFM) said Elma, a stroke patient, was trapped by thick smoke and fire and burned to death.

After meeting Villasenor, Fernando also met with the eight other families in their temporary shelter at Wawa Barangay Hall.

He brought each family immediate financial assistance from his own pocket, one sack of rice, and sleeping supplies, while P10,000 in aid was being processed after the interview with the fire victims yesterday.

“Nauunawaan natin ang nararamdaman ng ating mga kababayan dahil napakahirap talagang masunugan, kaya bukod sa mga ibinigay na natin, titingnan natin kung paano pa sila matutulungan (We understand what our fellow Bulakenyos felt because it’s really hard to be a victim of fire, so aside from what we have given let us see if how to help them more),” Fernando said, knowing that this is another burden on the families, who are also dealing with the loss of jobs due to the pandemic.

Another of the victims, Teresita Bustillo, said that in her fear and panic during the fire, she had blacked out.

“Nung una, nagkukwentuhan pa kami ni Marlyn. Umakyat na siya sa bahay nila, wala pang limang minuto nakita ko na may nasusunog. Umakyat ako sa terrace naming, nakita ko na po ‘yung usok galing sa kusina nila, ang lakas ng buga ng apoy. Sa taranta ko, nagsisigaw ako, nag-black out na ako. Pag gising ko, nasa ospital na ko (At first, Marlyn and I were having a conversation. She then went up to their house, and in less than five minutes I saw a flame. I went up to our terrace and saw thick smoke coming from their kitchen, and blazing fire. In my panic I shouted until I blacked out. When I came to, I was in the hospital),” Bustillo recalled.

Another victim, Josepito Flores, said the fire has left them totally bereft.

“Wala talaga kaming matutuluyan, kawawa naman ‘yung anak kong dalawa. Sa kolong-kolong lang kami natutulog ngayon sa motor. Gusto ko sanang pasukin ‘yung loob ng bahay namin kasi para nga may maisalbang gamit, pero wala na talaga (We really have no place to stay, and my two children are pitiful. We are only sleeping in the motorcyle crib now. I wanted to enter our house to salvage our belongings, but nothing at all remained),” he said.

All of them are asking for assistance to find temporary shelter or to rebuild their houses.