Help pours in for 5 Filipinas who lost all belongings in Dubai fire

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Minor fire that broke out in an apartment in International City on Tuesday (August 6) night.-Photo courtesy Facebook

Dubai - The fire did not spread and was contained only in the bedroom of Flat 101 at Building L-05, Greece Cluster.


Angel Tesorero

Published: Wed 7 Aug 2019, 4:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 8 Aug 2019, 8:33 AM

The Filipino expat community has come together in support of their five female kababayan (countrymen) who lost all their belongings in a fire that broke out in their flat in International City, Dubai, on Tuesday night.
The fire did not spread and was contained only in the bedroom of Flat 101 at Building L-05, Greece Cluster. All the Filipinas who share the one-bedroom accommodation are safe and are now staying at a friend's apartment, also in International City.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Cristina Mina, who will be turning 24 on Monday, said she was outside when the fire erupted.
"I was in the hallway when I noticed that our WiFi got disconnected. When I entered our room, thick smoke billowed out and I saw one of the beds on fire," she recalled.
"We tried to recover our belongings, but the fire was getting bigger and smoke was everywhere. We lost everything - laptops, gadgets, money, luggage, and important documents like passports, IDs, and other personal items."
"We were able to salvage only a few clothes and our mobile phones that we were carrying. Thankfully, no one was hurt as we were outside the room when it happened," she added.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire immediately, and the Dubai Civil Defence is yet to issue a statement on the cause of the fire.
But Mina said it was probably caused by a portable lamp that overheated. "A firefighter said the fire started in one of the beds," she shared.
Mina and her friends returned to their flat on Wednesday but, unfortunately, all their belongings were burnt.
Mina, a resident of Dubai for one year, said she was hoping to recover her passport. She was still looking for employment, as she had lost her job recently.
"We are, however, happy with the outpouring of aid from the Filipino community. We received basic items like toiletries, blankets, clothes, etc. Our Filipina friend also opened her home to us and more people have pledged assistance," said Mina, who can be contacted on 0523998933.
Netizens rallied support for the women. After Filipino expat Rachel Salinel posted about the incident on her Facebook account, her friends shared it and people vowed to support them.
Marlene Murphy commented, "Let's help them", while Rey Tenerife asked where to send assistance. Lourdes Lladoc Igmidio added: "Let's move, kababayans!"
Filipino community leader Josie Conlu said she had a meeting with Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes.
"The consulate said they would immediately process the issuance of documents for the fire victims."
Conlu also called for the continuous assistance to the Filipinas.
Keep your home safe
1-Unplug all appliances when not in use. Do not leave them plugged in overnight or when you are out
2-Double-check the stove and gas cylinder before heading out
3-No electrical wires, clothes and other flammable materials must be kept near the stove or oven
4-Keep grills clean as a build-up of fat, food and oil may start a fire
5-Install fire prevention equipment and alarms in your home
6-Practise an emergency drill with your family or housemates. This will help you get better prepared during evacuation.

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