DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For at least four hours, firefighters tried to put out the fire that hit a residential area and a large portion of the busy public market in Kilometer 11, Barangay Sasa here last Friday, November 24.
Although local authorities said that no casualties or injuries were reported, the estimated cost of damage reached P3 million.
Senior Fire Officer Ramil Gillado of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Davao said a total of 413 houses were gutted and at least 708 families were left homeless. The number of families affected was slightly lower compared to the initial count of the City Social Services and Development Office last Friday.
Gillado said out of the 708 families, 413 were house owners, 169 were renters and 126 families shared a home with other families. He said they also recorded 30 boarders affected.
Based on the investigation of the BFP, the fire started at the house of a seller of “binangkal” (a local delicacy). Gillado said they cannot yet ascertain the cause of the fire but said the house where it started was empty at the time.
“The house is where the seller used to cook ‘binangkal’,” he said.
Meanwhile, CSSDO head Maria Luisa Bermudo said the city government will release more than P5 million in cash assistance to for the affected families.
“We hope to release (the cash assistance) sooner after proper validations are made by the social workers in the area,” Bermudo said. (With reports from Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano / davaotoday.com)
The fire left the residents with nothing but loose change.
Claudia Miñoza, 68, a resident of Km. 11 Sasa for more than 68 years is among those affected by the fire.
Ester Bacalso, 66, shows her ration card as one of the victims.
The fire gutted the mosque in Kilometer 11.
Among the victims are Muslim residents and small vendors.
A businesswoman running a thrift shop (ukay-ukay), assesses the damage caused by the fire.
Victims set up makeshift tents made of plastic along the narrow streets going to the Muslim Village.
Children collect scrap metals left after the fire.