Photos from the fire scene courtesy of Richard Ligad, chief of the Puerto Princesa City Anti-Crime Task Force.

A fire broke out in New Buncag, Barangay Mandaragat on Tuesday evening, destroying approximately 58 homes and leaving at least 83 families homeless.

Supt. Nilo Caabay, the fire marshal of Puerto Princesa City, told Palawan News that they received a call about the incident at 10:40 p.m., after which he immediately dispatched all available firetrucks to the scene.

Firefighters. however, had difficulty containing the blaze due to the location’s accessibility; they required assistance from the Puerto Princesa City Water District (PPCWD), the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), and the Tactical Operations Wing-West (TOW-West).

“Medyo mahirap abutin yung fire scene dahil yung accessibility ay mahirap. 10 fire hoses yung aming pinagdugtong-dugtong para maabot yung area,” Caabay said.

Contributed videos by Tibo Tesorio, Michael Tapanan, and Clyde Alfred Palma.

“Maraming sasakyan at mga tao sa kalsada and yung mga gamit nila nakaharang na rin kaya lalo kami nahirapan,” he added.

He also said the fire rapidly spread out as most of the houses were made of light materials.

As barangay officials are still compiling data, he added that the number of homes destroyed and families impacted may still increase. The majority of victims are currently staying at the barangay’s evacuation center, while others have moved into their relatives’ homes.

Caabay further stated that firefighters are going back to the fire scene today to conduct further investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

On the other hand, residents who sent videos of the fire scene to Palawan News reported hearing an explosion before the fire broke out.

“Mga sampung segundo pa lang may pumutok na malakas. Palakas ng palakas yong apoy,” a resident said.

“Grabe, tupok na tupok yong mga bahay,” another sender said as he described his home being engulfed by the blaze. “Umabot na. Yan yong bahay namin, guys. Ang bahay namin sunog na.”

The fire was declared contained at 11:58 p.m. and completely extinguished at 2:53 a.m. on Wednesday.

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