The fire that struck Laperal Compound (but officially called Lateral Compound by NDCC) yesterday along EDSA, Bgy. Guadalupe Viejo, in Makati City at around 11:59AM affected more or less 2,700 families, left 9 people injured and around 900 houses burned. In the urban setting in Makati, a house usually has at least 3 families living under it depending on the number of rooms it has. Sadly, four families from our church were affected, three of which lost their homes completely without being able to salvage anything.
We opened up our church in Makati for these three families and asked our members and friends to help with used or new clothes, towels, beddings, canned goods, rice and toiletries to help meet their immediate needs. The three families are also part of the Manna Feeding ministry in our church.
I took the liberty to visit the site that was ravaged by the huge fire yesterday which, according to NDCC, had an estimated damage of Php 9 million, and took pictures. As I saw the area, I remembered that a few years back it was also hit by a fire. Most structures then were made of wood but now, there were many structures made of concrete. But even though that is the case, the are is really a fire hazard since houses are very close to each other and there is no access inside for fire trucks. According to people I’ve talked to who live in the area, yesterday was the fourth time a fire hit Lateral Compound. My wife first learned about this particular fire via Twitter, wherein @MMDA mentioned about a fire within the area. We started calling one of the members in our church who we know lives there.
As I ponder upon this, I feel burdened for the families affected, not just the ones who are part of our congregation because for them, going back to that area will be another risk to take knowing that fire could hit that area again after some time. But with the high cost of living in Makati, they are left with no other place to stay unless other people or organizations help them get relocated to a safer and affordable place of residence without greatly affecting their children’s schooling (Makati City residents enjoy free education for their children) and their work by getting relocated somewhere so far.
I know no single organization or person can help all these fire victims. But as followers of Christ congregating in Makati, our church will try its best to help the families that we can help, starting with those who are part of our ministry. We thank our church members, friends in the Philippines and from around the world who have helped already and who are planning to send additional help for these families. May God bless us all as we continue to extend blessing upon the families who lost their homes from the fire yesterday.