THE Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has yet to determine the cause of the fire that hit Purok Litsonan, Barangay 36 in Bacolod City Thursday and left 44 families homeless.

A total of 39 houses were destroyed and four were damaged, records of Barangay 36 officials as of yesterday afternoon showed.

Five persons sustained minor wounds and burns. They were rushed to a hospital in Bacolod City, according to the BFP.

Fire Officer 1 Carlo Vincent Mallari, arson investigator, said they are still looking into the origin of the fire, but they suspect that it could be electrical in nature.

We are gathering evidence to determine the cause, he said.

The blaze started from the house of Angelita Cariño at about 11:12 a.m., and quickly spread to the neighboring houses made of light materials.

More than 30 pigs died.

The blaze was put under control at about 12:08 p.m., and left an estimated damage worth P800,000.

Cariño had earlier said she saw the fire after an electrical wiring sparked near their roof.

Village councilman Jolito Palma, 49, said his 10 pigs were killed while his house was destroyed.

He said the houses of his two colleagues Edsel Yasay and Amelita Disoy were also destroyed.

Most of the residents lost their pigs which were the source of their livelihood.

Purok Litsonan is considered a lechon or roasted pig country.

Palma said some of the affected families are staying at Rizal Elementary School while the others have started to rebuild their houses.

Fely Doronila, health worker of Barangay 36, said they are already receiving donations, but the affected families still need food supplies, cooking utensils, clothes, and undergarments.

Pacita Tero, head of the Department of Social Services and Development, said that her office has started processing the release of financial assistance for the fire victims.

The affected families lost their homes, personal belongings, and even stocks of pigs up for roasting.

Moreover, Mayor Monico Puentevella appealed to the city residents, particularly those living in thickly-populated areas to be extra careful and cautious considering the proximity of their houses.

The hot temperature and the improperly installed electrical wiring and overly utilized electrical wires, outlets, and other appliances can lead to fire, he noted. (with reports from CNC)