ORMOC CITY– A fire, whose origin is still under investigation by the local Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), destroyed 28 houses and partially damaged three others at around 2:10 a.m. on Wednesday (June 19) in Sitio Isla Verde, Barangay Dolho in Bato, Leyte.

Bato BFP fire investigator, Senior Fire Officer Dave Cortez, stated in an interview that the fire displaced 136 individuals, including persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and infants.

The BFP received the alert minutes after the fire started and immediately proceeded to the area. Upon arrival, they found the fire already spreading, prompting them to request support from neighboring fire stations as the fire was raised to the second alarm level.
SFO1 Cortez noted that the fire spread quickly through the community because the houses were made of light materials.

The narrow passages in the area further complicated the situation, as residents fleeing the fire blocked the way with their belongings, hampering the firefighters’ efforts to enter. Even supporting fire trucks from Hilongos, Matalom, and Hindang municipalities faced the same issue due to the small passageways.

The fire was declared under control at 3:20 am and fully extinguished by around 4:30 am on the same day.

No injuries were reported, and the damage was estimated at P1 million.

The Municipal Social Development Office has provided food packs and relief goods to all victims, while non-governmental organizations have also extended assistance.