Filipina fire victim floored by Dubai’s kindness

Filipina fire victim floored by Dubai’s kindness

Dubai: A day after the warm-hearted gesture by Dubai Civil Defence which handed over a cat for her pet cat lost in a fire, Filipina victim Angelie Agoncillo Mangalindan is still in disbelief at the kindness of the city and its people.

Mangalindan, whose father died earlier this year and her pet cat, Chico, was lost in the fire in a residential building in Al Muraqqabat area on July 9, the gift of a new cat by the Civil Defence on Tuesday brought her a lot of joy.

“I lost my father in January this year and my cat comforted me and helped me get over the grief, but last week, I lost her in the fire in the building where I lived. I was really sad,” the 26-year-old etisalat sales executive told Gulf News.

Officials on Tuesday asked the fire victim to come to Dubai Civil Defence headquarters, but did not tell her why.

“They asked me to come to give a statement about what had happened [about the fire] and I didn’t expect they will give me a cat similar to my old one. That was a very nice surprise,” she added.

Mangalindan’s former cat’s name was Chico and she has named the new cat Cheeno.

“Chico was 11 years old and I have had her for two years. I used to keep her in my room and go to work but on the day of the fire, I couldn’t save her. She suffocated to death.”

Firefighters tried to help the cat but they couldn’t and they saw Mangalindan’s sadness at losing her pet. They informed their directors who informed Major-General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, director-general of Dubai Civil Defence, who ordered the firefighters to find a new cat for the woman.

“After reading reports about the woman’s loss, we presented her with a cat that looks like the one who died in the fire. We wanted to make her happy,” Maj-Gen Al Matroushi said.

The officials also completed all necessary documentation for the new cat.

On July 9, dozens of families were evacuated from the four-storey building in Al Muraqqabat when the fire broke out at 3.16pm. The blaze was brought under control by Dubai Civil Defence at 3.42pm.

The fire started in a flat on the first floor. Firefighters helped rescue 23 people and two children from the building.

No injuries were reported.

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