Fire hit the former motorpool area of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) along the corner of Rizal Avenue and H. Mendoza Street on Sunday afternoon, September 08.

The fire was placed under control by responding fire trucks after about an hour. There were no initial estimates of damage from the Bureau of Fire Protection which was still investigating the cause of the fire.

A witness, Neil Castro, who resides in the last remaining house in the property owned by the Palawan National School (PNS) that was recently being cleared of illegal settlers, said he saw smoke coming out from the area before the fire began to spread.

“May nagtatanggal dyan, nagbabaklas, hindi ko napansin na kasi nagliligpit ako. Kanina pa sila nagbabaklas tapos pagsampay ko, nakita ko may umuusok, lakas ng usok kaya lahat ng ipon na tubig dito binuhos ko room,” he said.

Castro also said that they were already packing their things in preparation for their transfer in compliance with the court order.

“Napakarami rin talaga na kailangan ilipat pero pinipilit na rin namin makaalis dahil ayaw din namin na may masamang mangyari rin sa amin,” he said.

According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) the fire reached their knowledge at 3:34 p.m. and was declared fire out by 04:21 p.m.