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'Super girl' saves 2 kids
« on: June 16, 2007, 05:52:02 AM »
CEBU, Philippines—She was still wearing her school uniform.

Chevaun Julve, an alert five-year-old student fresh from kindergarten class, saved her four-year-old brother and three-year-old cousin from a fire that engulfed a house in barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City before noon yesterday.

“The curtain was on fire,” said Chevaun in Cebuano.

“I called my brother and cousin and brought them downstairs.”

The house in Doña Cristina Subdivision was owned by Jose Levi and Violita Ramirez, Chevaun’s uncle and aunt.

They were tending their small canteen inside MEPZ I in Lapu-Lapu City when the fire broke out. Only their three-year-old son Stephan was inside the house, along with Chevaun's brother Nataniel.

Presciosa Julve, Chevaun’s mother, said she and her husband Jonathan had just fetched their daughter from her school in barangay Labangon. When they reached the village, she said, she dropped by a nearby store to buy lunch, while Jonathan and her daughter proceeded to their house.

Chevaun, however, continued on to the Ramirez house, to look for the two boys who usually played there.

By then, and unknown to Chevaun, the fire had already started on the second floor. As she was about to go up, however, Chevaun noticed that a curtain had caught fire.

By the time she brought the two boys out, her father, seeing the smoke, had already rushed to the burning house.

For her spontaneous act of courage, Cheavuan will likely be honored by Cebu City officials.

City Councilor Gerardo Carillo said he would file a resolution in Wednesday’s council session to commend her heroism.

At the same time, Carillo said he wanted to see how the city government could help the girl, especially in the area of education.

“I will study what assistance and how we can justify the grant of assistance to the child because of her display of heroism. Maayo ang iyang deeds. It is right to recognize this so that others will also follow her example,” he told Cebu Daily News.

Cause of fire

Property damage was estimated at P25,000. The fire alarm was received at 11:26 a.m. Fire investigator Felix Romero said the two boys may have started the fire, as they were playing with either a match or a lighter.

The fire started under the curtains then spread above, he said. The two boys were in shock, he said, and just stared at the flames. Romero said they were fortunate that Chevaun went upstairs to rescue the two kids.

Violita, Stephan’s mother, said yesterday was the first time she had left her son behind. She said he was not feeling well, and left her in the care of her mother, who also lived nearby. Stephan has two siblings already in school.

“Kato ra gyo'y higayona akong gibilin akong anak, kay gi-ubo man. Pero ako gyod na siyang permi dad-on,” Violita said.

She said her family had transferred to the house only a week ago. Now all of their property is gone, she said.

Another fire

A separate fire in barangay Day-as yesterday afternoon had a less happy outcome.

A 44-year-old polio victim died after failing to escape from his burning house. A total of 10 houses burned down in the 22-minute fire, leaving 25 families, about 200 residents in all, homeless.

Carillo, action officer of the Cebu City Disaster Coordinating Council (CCDCC), said the affected families would be accommodated at the nearby Zapatera gym and given food assistance.

Social workers also brought the body of Rolly Tura to the San Fernando Funeral Parlor.

Tura was seen waving for help from the burning house, but his neighbors were afraid to approach because the flames were already big, said Day-as barangay captain Mchael Ocleasa.

He said the victim was wheelchair-bound because both legs were weakened by polio.

Tura's two brothers were not around during the incident because they were at work, according to the barangay captain.

Tura’s body was found near the door of their house, an indication that he had tried to escape the fire.

Another resident 68-year-old Domingo Globa also sustained a minor burn on his face. (Cebu Daily News)

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