Fire of still undetermined origin razed around 50 houses, displacing more or less 500 residents in Barangay Calindagan here at past 2 a.m. on Wednesday.
The number of houses burnt down in Purok Gumamela, Sitio Canday ong, could still go up as validation by the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the city government through the City Social Welfare and Development Office continues.
Firemen said no one was reported injured in the incident even if firefighters had a hard time penetrating the densely packed area with narrow pathways and houses built so close to each other.
Arson probers of the Dumaguete Fire Station are looking at the possibility that the fire might have been originally caused by a man who had a fight with his live in partner.
Fire Officer 1 Johnrey Aguilar said initial investigation showed that a certain Rogen Monceda was allegedly quarreling with his live in partner and had threatened to torch down their house.
Some witnesses said they saw Monceda shouting to let the children go out of their house while another said he had previously attempted to set his house on fire.
Monceda, however, denied all the allegations.
But investigators are also not discounting other possible angles for the cause of the fire, such as defective electrical wiring.
The fire victims are now temporarily housed at the gymnasium of the Dumaguete City High School. The city government has distributed relief goods such as food, water, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, utensils, and other basic necessities.
The City Public Information Office, in a media release, said that financial assistance will be provided to both residents and sharers/boarders of those displaced by the fire.
Officials are appealing to the public to send in donations in cash or in kind for the fire victims
Source: Philippines News Agency