Fire hits Lamitan City

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – A sexagenarian was wounded in a fire incident that razed to the ground 16 houses in Lamitan City in the nearby province of Basilan, a Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) official said Friday.

Fire Officer 2 Bernardo Matindo, BFP city investigator, said the fire broke out around 6:45 p.m. Thursday along Flore Street in Barangay Malinis.

Matindo identified the wounded as Hadji Bahiya Kambutu, 65, who suffered burns as he failed to get out immediately from his house that also caught fire.

Matindo said the fire broke out in one of the houses owned by the Dela Cruz family along Flores Street where a stove was left unattended since they were out selling barbeque.

City Administrator Danilo Alvaro said the Dela Cruz family admitted that the fire originated from their house where they left the stove unattended while cooking barbeque sauce.

Matindo said the fire rapidly spread since most of the houses that burned were made of light materials.

He said the estimated damage to property is at least half-a-million pesos.

He said the fire lasted for about an hour.

Alvaro said a total of 51 families were displaced, though only 16 houses were burned, since most of the fire victims shared domicile.

However, Alvaro said that of the affected families, only seven were left at the Datu Rizal Cultural Center where they were temporarily housed since the rest have gone to their relatives.

He said food items good for the next five days were given to the displaced families.

City Mayor Roderick Furigay has also ordered giving financial assistance to the affected families, he said. (MindaNews)