ZAMBOANGA CITY, Dec. 26 (PNA) — One person died while four others were hospitalized when a more than two-hour fire hit a slum community in this city on Christmas Day.
Chief Inspector Clint Cha, district fire marshal, disclosed the fire broke out around 7:37 p.m. Sunday in Sitio Boholano, Barangay Camino Nuevo, this city.
Cha said the fire started in one of the houses and rapidly spread to nearby homes that are mostly made of light materials.
Investigators have yet to determine the origin of the fire that reached third alarm by 9:20 p.m. The firemen declared fire out around 11 p.m..
The lone fatality was identified as Romeo Ubat, 50, who failed to reach the hospital alive. The cause of his death has yet to be determined.
Hospitalized were Noel Ludin, Numeña Yabo, Rina Casas, and Mamino Briones.
Ludin and Yabo were hospitalized due to suffocation while Casas suffered abrasion and Briones sustained burns.
Damage to the structures was placed at PHP2 million.
City Hall Information Officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said that 285 families with 1,101 dependents were affected by the fire based on the data gathered by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).
Covarrubias said the CSWDO has immediately provided food and relief assistance to the fire victims.
Covarrubias said financial aid for the fire victims will come later after validation and recommendation of CSWDO.
The fire victims are temporarily sheltered at the Camino Nuevo Barangay Hall and covered court of nearby Barangay Canelar. (PNA)