A 74-YEAR-OLD man died in a three-hour fire that engulfed Wednesday a slum village in Zamboanga City.

Chief Inspector Jaime Ramirez, chief of the Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD), said the fire broke out around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the village of Sta. Barbara, which is located less than a kilometer east of City Hall.

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Ramirez said the fatality was identified as Jakal Sabtal, a paralytic, who was alone when the fire engulfed his home.

Ramirez said initial investigation showed the fire started in one of the houses and rapidly spread to the other houses that are closely built to each other.

He said they have yet to determine the origin of the fire incident.

Ramirez placed the initial number of houses burned from 15 to 20. He, however, said that they are still "conducting mapping operation to determine the exact number of houses that were burned down."

He said they are also determining the exact value of properties that were destroyed in the incident. (Bong Garcia)