Some 21 houses were burned down and five others were partially damaged in a fire that razed a section of Purok Bagong Silang Zone 1, Barangay San Miguel, last Wednesday. Fire authorities said at least 50 families had been left homeless.

City Fire Marshal and Fire Superintendent Nilo Caabay said the blaze that lasted more than one hour was reported to their station at 10:49 in the morning but started earlier. It was declared under control at 11:19 a.m.

“While on the way, we already saw a large volume of smoke, indicating that the fire was already spreading in the area,” Caabay said.

Most of the houses affected, which included boarding houses, were made of light materials, which caused the fire to spread faster.

“The good thing is that when we arrived at the fire scene, it no longer spread to other houses as our firefighters were able to respond as firefighting equipment was deployed immediately,” Caabay explained.

He noted that the incident was reported to them a little bit late.

“That’s what we keep reminding everyone—immediately report incidents for us to be able to respond at once,” he said.

According to fire investigators, the incident looked to have been caused by an unattended electrical stove, and the first estimate of damages was P3 million.