ILOILO CITY — At least 54 houses were destroyed while four others were damaged when fire hit Barangay Lopez Jaena Norte in La Paz District, Iloilo City, past midnight on Sunday.
The fire broke out at 12:30 a.m. on the second floor of the house owned by the couple Marlon and Tessie Jaena.
“An electric wire sparked and the ember fell on the roof which caught fire that spread so fast because the house was made of light materials,” one of the witnesses said at the fire scene.
Supt. Jerry Candido, Iloilo City fire marshal, said they had difficulty penetrating the area because of the narrow road.
The affected area was densely populated mostly by informal settlers whose means of livelihood is selling delicacies.
“It was so difficult for us to penetrate. What we did was to connect our water hoses so that we could reach the inner part of the fire scene,” Candido said.
Evelyn Olano, City Social Welfare Officer III assigned at Lapaz District, said 276 individuals were rendered homeless by the fire.
“We provided the fire victims with relief goods. At least P5,000 would be given each to those whose houses were destroyed and P2,500 each for those with damaged houses,” she said.
Most of the fire victims were housed at the barangay gymnasium and at the Aglipayan Church while the others stayed with their relatives. /