400 families lose homes in Sta. Catalina fire; 5 injured PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 June 2016 13:24

By DAN TORIBIO

Some 400 families lost their homes, while five people were injured in a four-hour fire that hit a densely populated part of Sta. Catalina Tuesday night.

Chief Insp. Clint Cha, local fire marshal, said the fire that broke out around 6:30 p.m. and razed about 600 houses mostly made up of light materials and closely built from each other.

The fire ended around 10 p.m. and seven residents mostly elders were taken to the hospital after they suffered heart attack and hypertension and a pregnant woman who complaint of stomach pain.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, city health officer, said the injured victims were also brought to the hospital.

Residents fled their homes with their valuables as flames roared and consumed the houses during the blaze.

Those who were at work failed to save anything and wen they went home their houses and belongings were already in ashes.

Residents have different versions as to the cause of fire.

Some said that they heard a quarrel from one of the houses where later they saw flames spreading out to other dwellings.

Officials of the Sta. Catalina barangay council led by Chairman/Councilor-elect Jimmy Villaflores rushed to  the fire scene and assisted the vcitims.

The conflagration was declared a general alarm by the Bureau of Fire led by Chief Insp. Clint Cha.

“We can’t sustain suppression because the tankers cannot go inside due to narrow roads,” Cha said.

Firetrucks from the different fire stations as well as water tankers from the Zamboanga City Water District, Aleson Shipping, and fishing firms joined hands in the firefighting.

The homeless victims were given temporary shelters at the covered court of Don Gems Elementary School in Sta. Catalina while the city government thru the City Social Welfare and Development immediately took care of the fire victims with relief goods.

Cha placed the worth of properties that went up in smoke at P4.5 million. – Dan Toribio