By Lyka Manalo
BATANGAS CITY— More than 200 families were rendered homeless after a five-hour fire hit a residential area Saturday in Sitio Ibaba, Barangay Sta. Clara in this city.
An initial report from Batangas Police Provincial Office (BPPO) said the fire started in one of the residences and easily spread to adjacent homes, most of which were made of light and combustible materials.
The fire started at 5:52 p.m. and reached the fourth alarm before it was declared under control at 11 p.m..
Fire officials said more than 100 houses were either damaged or completely reduced to ashes.
Fire Incident Commander, F/ Chief Insp. Elaine Evangelista of the Batangas City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) reported that there was no report of any casualty in the blaze incident.
Fire trucks, ambulances and other response-vehicles and equipments in the city, from nearby towns and private group volunteers immediately responded.
Rod Dela Roca, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CDRRM) Officer said there were 204 affected families based on their initial assessment as of 2 a.m., Sunday.
Displaced families were evacuated to the Colegio ng Lungsod ng Batangas (CLB).
Batangas City Mayor Beverley Dimacuha and Congressman Marvey Mariño immediately proceeded to the area and gave instructions to city agencies to assist the victims.
Different agencies from the city were alerted and came to assist the victims such as CDRRMO, Transportation Management and Regulatory Office (TDRO) Defense Security Services (DSS), General Services Department, (GSD), City Health Office (CHO), City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), Mayor’s Action Center (MAC), Public Information Office (PIO) and other provincial and private agencies.
Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the fire and the total cost of the damage.