AT LEAST 21 houses were razed by a fire that broke out in a residential and commercial area in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City at dawn Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023.

FO3 Jeffrey Gerodias, fire investigator of the Lapu-Lapu City Fire District, said there were other houses and establishments that were damaged during the fire that lasted over an hour.

Gerodias said as of 8 a.m., their record showed that 33 families or 123 individuals were left homeless.

Three individuals reportedly sustained minor injuries, he said.

Carmen Cosep, assistant head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said the fire victims relocated to the Barangay Basak Gym, where they were provided with food and non-food items.

The CSWDO and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) also provided the families with modular tents with insulation foam.

Meanwhile, FO1 Fritz Diez of the Lapu-Lapu City Fire District-Fire Station 1 said the damage to property caused by the second alarm fire was P375,000.

Diez said further investigation is still being conducted to determine the cause of the fire that started at a lechon house on George Tampus St. in Barangay Basak.

The fire was reported at 3:13 a.m. and was placed under control at 4:20 a.m and declared out 10 minutes after.

Initial investigation revealed that the lechon house started operating at 3 a.m., but investigators have yet to verify if there were already employees working when the fire started.

Gerodias said the main door was open but its lock was still attached to the door.

The investigator said some people claimed that they saw two employees run away as the fire started.