6-hour fire in Iloilo burns 200 shanties

ILOILO CITY -- A fire that hit three villages of this city on Sunday has burned around 200 houses and displaced over 500 households, the city's fire bureau said.

No casualty was reported but several people were allegedly hurt in the fire that erupted from an alleged electrical short circuit around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The blaze destroyed houses, mostly made of light materials, in Barangay Tanza-Esperanza Zone 1 and 2, Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone 2, and Barangay Malipayon.

The fire occurred Sunday at the height of revelries for the Dinagyang festival, a major festivity in honor of patron saint Sr. Sto. Niño.

Iloilo City fire marshal Gerry Verde said the blaze destroyed 207 houses. The fire quickly spread to the neighboring villages due to narrow roads separating them.

Firefighters suffer from water shortage while battling the blaze, prompting officials to call for backup from neighboring municipalities.

Thick crowd near the festival route made it hard for the fire trucks to penetrate the fire scene.

According to Verde the fire was put out around 12 a.m. Monday.

Affected residents were sheltered in three elementary schools while the local social welfare office took charge of their food and personal needs.

Some affected residents went back to the fire scene to salvage anything that they can still use to build their new home.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog met with officials of the three affected barangays Monday to discuss the condition of the evacuees. (Ariel B. Catubig/Sunnex)

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