At least 14 people were hurt in the incident
TACLOBAN CITY- A big fire hit in one of this city’s slum areas on November 2 that injured 14 people as fire authorities have yet to determine the cause of the blaze that gutted down 35 houses.
The more than an hour fire hit Barangay 37, Seawall area, at around 11:10 am with fire authorities declaring a fire out at 12:15 noon.
FO3 Jonald Lace, fire investigator of the City Fire Office, said that they have yet to know the cause of the fire that gutted down 35 houses which were mostly made of light materials.
He said that based on their initial investigation, the fire started at two-storey boarding house owned by Regina Orgena who was not around at the time of the incident.
“Our investigation is still ongoing so we cannot categorically say what was the cause of the fire incident. The fire spread quickly because the houses were mostly made of light materials and aided with strong winds,” Lace said.
The area is located within the city’s port area.
Damage to the fire incident has yet to be determine.
Village councilor Cris Abadines said that based on the information she gathered from the residents, the fire could have been ignited by an unattended rice cooker left by boarders identified as Rez Abuya and Marvin Lucas.
Lace, however, said that based on his investigation to both Abuya and Lucas, they denied that they left the rice cooker when they leave the boarding at around 6 am.
The fire incident resulted to the injury of 14 people, mostly lacerations. But one of them, Aldren Ocado,25, suffered a first-degree burn who was immediately received treatment from a medical staff from the City Health Office.
Rosanna Galangue, 45, said that she was cleaning their house when she heard loud of screams that a fire engulfed their village.
“I immediately ran away from our house, bringing nothing as I grabbed my daughter Riza Mae,” she said.
Olive Solayao, meanwhile, said that she was preparing to visit their departed loved ones at the city public cemetery when the fire broke out.
“We hurriedly left our house with just our clothes on,” the 41-year old mother said.
At that time, she was with her mother, Marina, 65; siblings Emilyn, 38 and Erwin, 42; and her daughter Lyka Mae, 7.
The affected residents, for the meantime, will be accommodated at the barangay hall.
The City Social and Development Office immediately provided food packs to fire victims.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)