AROUND 60 people jumped into the sea to save themselves after a huge fire erupted at around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 3 at Punta Dumalag 1, Brgy. Matina Aplaya, Davao City.

Davao City Central 911 said they have saved an estimated 60 individuals and treated them for wounds onsite by their EMS unit.

Meanwhile, various posts on social media showing "devil-like" smoke coming from the fire, while in another angle the smoke appeared like a dragon, trended online.

Netizens argued that it was a natural occurrence for smoke to form something that people always relate to another thing.

However, the grief of the estimated 140 households comprising nearly 200 families affected in the fire was apparent.

Based on the initial count from the Bureau of Fire Protection-Davao (BFP-Davao), a total of 120 houses comprising 191 families were affected in the fire.

The City Social Services and Development Office (CSWDO) has not yet released the final data on the number of victims and houses affected by the fire, since their assessment is still ongoing so that the real victims will receive the financial assistance coming from the Davao City Government.

Yesterday, the fire victims crowded the Shanghai Gym where they took shelter temporarily as they received initial assistance like hygiene kits and cooking wares.

A few minutes after the BFP declared the fire under control, the CSWDO immediately went to the area and set up the Kusina ng Bayan, the office's mobile kitchen to distribute food to the victims.

The City Health Office (CHO) also distributed vitamins and face masks as well as the Office of the Davao City First Congressional District.

Meanwhile, investigation is still ongoing as to the cause of the fire, while it is not yet known how much damage the fire has caused. JPC