TACLOBAN CITY – It was a tragic New Year’s Day for 110 families comprising about 660 persons in Tacloban City after a fire believed caused by a lighted firecracker razed their houses early Friday morning, Jan. 1, 2016.

Pericohon Village Chairman Cesar Advincula said the three-hour fire broke out at 12:19 a.m., destroying 69 houses occupied by families who are still recovering from the devastation of super typhoon “Yolanda” two years ago.

Advincula said the fire started at the second floor of the house of Salvacion Mauricio in densely populated Pericohon Village while residents were having New Year’s revelries.

There was no reported fatality, but some residents sustained minor injuries.

Fire department personnel declared the fire under control at around 3 a.m.

“When we heard somebody shout that there was fire, we immediately ran outside our house to the road without carrying anything,” recalled Cruzita Homerez, 75.

Losing their house on New Year’s Day is one of her saddest memories, according to Homerez.

Most of the affected residents are staying at the Tacloban Astrodome while others are at the nearby Parish Pastoral Center at the Redemptorist Church.

“We will allow them to stay here while we wait for them to recover. Maybe after few days, they can go back to their places so they can rebuild their houses,” said Fr. Bong Puzon, assistant parish priest of the Redemptorist Church.

As immediate assistance, the parish provided clothes for the fire victims staying at the pastoral center. Roel T. Amazona/PNA/