At least 70 families left homeless in Datu Paglas market fire

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/11 April) – At least 70 families were rendered homeless Friday night as fire razed dozens of houses near a rural bank in the town market of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao.

Datu Paglas mayor Mohammad “Tong” Paglas told Mindanews that the fire at 11 p.m. spread “so fast, houses were easily eaten by fire.”

He said the houses, mostly made of light materials, were constructed close to each other.

It took about three hours for the firefighters to control the situation.

The mayor, quoting sources at the fire station, said the fire could have started from a restaurant.

Another information said, the fire may have been caused by a cigarette stub thrown near a store selling gasoline. A number of stores here sell gasoline in softdrink liter bottles.

A man was reported hurt after he accidentally stepped on the tip of a nail while busy saving some property.

Homeless residents temporarily stayed in the municipal gymnasium. The local government, through the social work and development, attended to the evacuees. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews, with reports from Joyce Toledo, intern)