Over 300 families left homeless by fire in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—More than three hundred families lost their homes when a fire swept through their coastal community here on Saturday morning.
The fire broke out at around 4:15 a.m. in Purok Seaside of Baliwasan village, said Chief Inspector Jaqueline Ortega, city fire marshal.
Ortega added that the fire started in an old abandoned house.
As the blaze spread to other houses and the residents scampered for safety, 45-year-old Wahid Antan had a cardiac arrest and died.
Ortega said they have to call in more firetrucks and firefighters to deal with the raging flames.
The Philippine Coast Guard also helped fight the flames from its boat.
Ortega said their entry into the community was hampered by narrow roads.
Coast Guard photos showed people on rooftops pouring water on burning houses while rescuers hauled to safety residents whose only escape from the inferno was the sea.
City social welfare officer Maria Socorro Rojas said they have initially counted 372 displaced families, numbering 1,860 individuals in all.
They are currently taking refuge at the covered court of the Baliwasan Central School.
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