A man tries to find things he can still save from the rubbles of his home. The foreground of the photo shows a white cloud of smoke from burned woods and other materials. (Photo contributed by Pastor Hermie Villanueva of Culion Spring of Living Water)

(UPDATED) A fire in Culion on Saturday night destroyed 27 houses, commercial establishments, and other structures at Sitio Bohol in Barangay Jardin, leaving 33 families homeless.

Culion administrator and municipal disaster risk reduction management officer Maxim Raymundo said Monday in a follow-up interview by Palawan News that the total was actually 33, but six were only partially damaged.

“‘Yong cause ng fire ay iniimbestigahan pa ng Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) dito hanggang ngayon at ang sabi sa amin ay magtatagal ito ng ilang araw (The BFP is still investigating the cause of the fire and we were told that it will take a few days),” Raymundo said.

Based on their initial estimate, he said the fire damaged around P10 million worth of properties and livelihood in the coastal village of Jardin.

He said the office of Culion Mayor Virginia de Vera is continuously providing assistance to the victims of the fire through their risk reduction office and the municipal social welfare and development office.

Earlier, Senior Fire Officer 1 Lodrine Bacunga of the Culion Municipal Bureau of Fire Protection (CMBFP) said victims of the fire are temporarily taking shelter at the Balala Elementary School (BES) also in the same barangay.

No one was hurt in the fire that started around 11 p.m. on February 2, he said.

A dog that managed to escape the fire hangs onto the outrigger of a boat while waiting to be rescued by its owner. ((Photo contributed by Pastor Hermie Villanueva of Culion Spring of Living Water)

“Wala tayong recorded na kaso ng nasaktan o namatay na may kaugnayan sa sunog (We have no recorded injury or death because of the fire),” Bacunga said.

The fire was declared “fire out” around 3 a.m.

He said most of the affected structures were made of light materials and are situated in the coastal area. Most of those who lost their homes were also “informal settlers.”

“Base po sa aming investigation, informal settlers nga sila kasi sa dagat na [nakatayo ang mga structures nila] (Based on our investigation, they’re informal settlers because their homes are on the water),” he added.


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