ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Three people were injured, and approximately 120 houses were razed by a fire in a coastal village in the city, authorities said on Monday, September 18, 2023.

The fire, which reached the third alarm, lasted for four hours before being declared fire out.

According to Supt. Christopher Morales, Zamboanga City Fire District marshal, the fire broke out around 8:39 a.m. on Monday at Sibiktol Drive in Arena Blanco village, nine kilometers east of Zamboanga city.

The firefighters declared the fire out around 12:55 p.m.

Morales said the investigation showed the fire started at the residence of Hadji Kimmik Asjain, 70, and rapidly spread to nearby houses, mostly made of light materials.

The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said the fire has displaced approximately 700 families, as some of the houses are occupied by more than one family.

The identities of the three injured individuals were not yet known. One of them was injured while attempting to help extinguish the fire with a pail of water.

Morales said the damage caused by the fire was estimated at P1,250,000 worth of properties.

Mayor John Dalipe also visited the fire scene to assess the situation and ordered the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to provide immediate assistance to the affected families.

The affected families were temporarily sheltered at Arena Blanco Elementary School.

The CSWDO is conducting verification and tallying of the affected families for assistance distribution.

Investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire. (SunStar Zamboanga)