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200 FAMILIES DISPLACED AS FIRE HITS GENSAN COASTAL VILLAGE



GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- About 200 families were rendered homeless after a huge fire hit a portion of a crowded seaside community here Friday morning.

Fire Officer 3 Jayson Bato, investigator of the city central fire station, said the blaze broke out in a residential area in Purok Islam, Barangay Dadiangas South at about 9:30 a.m.

Bato said the affected area is located in front of the city central public market and several meters away from the barangay hall.

No casualty has been reported but the fire gutted down at least 100 structures that were mostly made of light materials, he said.

Authorities initially estimated the damage at PHP500,000.

“The burned structures included residential and boarding houses, as well as makeshift stalls of several vendors,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The fire reached the first alarm and was declared under control at about 10:05 a.m.
Responding firefighters came from the city central fire station, Calumpang fire sub-station, Alabel fire station, Chinese Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade, KCC Mall, and RD fire brigades.

Citing their investigation, Bato said the fire reportedly started at the second floor of a house owned by a certain Haron Uto.

He said Uto had been out the past two days and supposedly left the lights on inside the house.

One of Uto’s neighbors claimed to have seen electrical sparks inside the house prior to the incident, he said.

Authorities initially placed the estimated damage at PHP500,000.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office has dispatched a team to the site to provide relief goods and assist the other needs of affected residents. (PNA)

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