2,000 employees fear for their livelihood after GenSan mall fire

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 18, 2019   •   598

For 13 years, Joe Dayaday has been an employee of Gaisano Mall in General Santos City. This has become his source of income to help his family get by.

On Wednesday (October 16), a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck parts of Mindanao which caused a fire at Gaisano Mall.

Huge flames torched the two-hectare mall that night, illuminating the surroundings as if the sun had never set.

It took 18 hours before authorities finally declared the fire out; it was around 1:00 p.m. on Thursday (October 17).

However, the mall was again engulfed in flames on Thursday night, leaving 90 percent of the establishment damaged.

The fire left an estimated P2 billion worth of damage, and that’s not counting the loss of livelihood it has brought to around 2,000 employees in Gaisano Mall.

As authorities finally declared fire out around 10:00 p.m. that Thursday night, uncertainty filled Joe’s heart.

“Maapektuhan talaga ang trabaho namin, marami kamung nagtatrabaho dito na maapektuhan, (Our jobs will be affected, a lot of us working here will be affected)” Joe said.

Uncertainty loomed over the 2,000 employees of Gaisano Mall, among whom is Hanzel Falalimpa.

Hanzel’s husband is currently in the hospital and it is up to her to support her family including her two children.

“Ako lang talaga ang nagtatrabaho sa amin ngayon tapos may dalawang anak pa ako, (I am the only worker in the family and I have two children)” she said. She is now at a loss where to find money for their daily needs and the hospital expenses of her husband.

Meanwhile, Joe is calling out to the government for assistance.

“Ang hiling namin sa pamahalaan sana matulungan kami na makahanap ng trabaho sa ibang kumpanya, (Our wish is for the government to help us find another job in other companies)” he said.

Assistant Department Head of City Social Welfare & Development Office GenSan Arabecque Batilong assured they will provide assistance to the employees affected by the fire.

“We gathered them sa G-Mall almost 2,000 silang empleyado. Mayroong mga ibang agencies whether private or government [that are] willing to employ them (We gathered them in G-Mall, almost 2,000 employees. There are other agencies whether private or government that are willing to employ them)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

5-year-old hero saves family from fire in Georgia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 14, 2020

A 5-year-old boy in Georgia, United States, was able to save his family when their home caught fire.

In a Facebook post of the Bartow County Fire Department (BCFD), 5-year-old Noah Woods woke up to find his bedroom on fire and the only way out was through a window.

Noah was able to save his 2-year-old sister and their dog through the window and woke his uncle up next door to alert the rest of the family.

“Noah and 4 other family members were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation. Noah is credited for saving himself and 7 other family members,” the post reads.

BCFD Chief Dwayne Jamison will recognize him as an Honorary Bartow County Firefighter and present him with a Lifesaving Award.—AAC

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Fire razes warehouse in Pandacan, Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 1, 2020

Photo by MDRRMO

A fire razed an industrial warehouse of San Miguel Corporation in Pandacan, Manila on Saturday (February 1).

According to the Manila Fire District, the fire erupted at 10:35 a.m. at San Miguel Yamamura Corporation Compound.

The fire reached Task Force Bravo, and was declared out at around 2:52 p.m. Estimated damage reached P15 million which includes the on-going construction of the Skyway Bridge.

No casualties were reported by authorities.

Based on the report of the Manila Fire District, the fire allegedly originated from a stack of plastic pallets placed in the open place under the Skyway extension project.—AAC

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Fire reduces around 100 houses in Quezon City to ashes

Maris Federez   •   January 1, 2020

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Around 100 houses were reduced to ashes as fire razed Barangay Vasra in Quezon City an hour before the turning of the new year.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire immediately reached task force alpha on Palanas street at around 11 in the evening on Tuesday (Dec. 31) which left residents scurrying to leave the place with whatever household items they can bring.

Most of the households in the area were busy preparing for the new year festivities when the fire broke out.

The BFP firefighters declared fire out at past 1 in the morning.

Investigation on the cause of the fire is now in place said the BFP. — (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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