ZAMBOANGA CITY–The local government said it has mobilized its resources and provided assistance to the victims of the conflagration on Sunday in Purok 5, Barangay Labuan, this city.
Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar supervised the distribution of food packs and relief goods to the fire victims, accompanied by City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) head Socorro Rojas, as well as City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) personnel led by Dr. Elmeir Jade Apolinario, and barangay officials.
Salazar on Monday said that a total of 382 families with 1,265 dependents were profiled and provided with food assistance.
Maravilla said the fire victims were temporarily housed at the Labuan Elementary School and some have sought refuge with their relatives.
Senior Supt. Jhufel Brañanola, Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) marshal, said the fire broke out around 1:05 p.m. Sunday and has reached fourth alarm. The fire started at the residence of Marko Tarhata, which rapidly spread and engulfed the nearby houses in the coast of Labuan, he added.
Estimates show that the conflagration damaged at least PHP4 million worth of properties.
Brañanola said the fire, which was placed under control at 2:05 p.m. and declared fire out at 3:30 p.m., razed 400 houses mostly made of light materials.
Tarhata has been placed under investigation following information that he is into illegal sale of petroleum products, the fire official said.
Salazar said she has directed the police to closely coordinate with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and ensure the strict implementation of the Fire Code, as well as confiscate gasoline being sold illegally and other fire hazards. Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA -northboundasia.com