Thirty-five families, including five sharers and renters, were left homeless when fire hit Purok Kabukiran in Barangay Taculing, Bacolod City, at about 6:30 a.m. yesterday.
Records from the Bacolod Department of Social Services and Development showed that 21 houses were destroyed and nine were damaged, DSSD head Pacita Tero, said.
The Bureau of Fire Protection investigation showed that the fire started at the second floor of the house of Leticia Maculob, that was occupied by her daughter Mary Grace Caramonte, Bacolod fire marshal Chief Insp. Publio Ploteña said.
An unattended lighted candle was being eyed as the cause of fire that gutted the houses mostly made of light materials, Ploteña said.
He said the occupants of the house lighted a candle since therewas a brownout and they have a baby, so they needed a light.
The fire from the candle caught the curtain and spread to the rest of the house, Ploteña said.
About P180,000 worth of properties were destroyed by the fire, that reached a third alarm status, he said.
The narrow pathways and houses that were too close to each other, and strong winds contributed to the difficulty of firefighters in putting out the fire.
The BFP declared fire out at about 7:20 a.m. yesterday.
Tero said the evacuation center for the affected families is at the Bacolod City High School, but some of the survivors sought shelter at the houses of their relatives.
She said they will address other problems at the evacuation center such as the lack of water supply and sleeping kits for the evacuees.
The fire victims need clothes, eating utensils, water, and some needs for babies. Donors may drop their donations at the BCHS, Tero added.*SGG
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