Fire struck a residential area near the old Vietnamese refugee camp in Barangay Bancao-Bancao Sunday afternoon, leaving around 50 families homeless.
Firefighters from the City Fire Department (CFD) were still determining the cause of the fire at press time, which was put under control at around 2:30 p.m.
Bancao-Bancao Chairman Marilou Gumangan said the homeless families will be temporarily sheltered at their barangay hall and at Mauricio Reynoso Memorial Elementary School (MRMES).
“Initial estimate na sa mga 50 bahay ang nasunog. Isisilong muna sa barangay hall at sa MRMES ang mga nasunugan. Sa ngayon magpo -provide ang barangay ng pagkain at tubig sa mga nasunugan at pagkatapos ay i-pro-proseso ang tulong para sa kanila sa city hall,” she said.
She told Palawan News there was no known casualty from the fire, although the CFD is yet to make a formal declaration.
Witness Gina Caguioa claimed that the fire may have started at the house of an Ella Kim Castro, her neighbor, and may have been caused by a defective LPG tank.
“Ang sabi sa bahay ni Kim nag-umpisa ang sunog. Ang iniisip ko na lang saan kami titira ngayon. Mabuti na lang nailigtas ko ang mga bata. Di ko na naisip ang mga gamit ko, ang nasa isip ko ang mga bata. Tumakbo na kami. Kalahati ng bahay ko tupok,” she said.
When interviewed by Palawan News, Roderick Castro, the son of Kim, said that his wife, Jeylie, was cooking when she decided to go to the comfort room to relieve herself.
When she got out, he said Jeylie saw fire spewing out of their gas burner. “Sa pagkataranta niya binuhusan niya ng tubig, pero lalo daw lumakas ang apoy. Kinuha na nya agad ang mga bata at nagsisisigaw na may sunog. Nag-leak daw ang gasul,” he said.
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