Fire displaces more than 300 persons in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Zamboanga del Sur—More than 300 persons were displaced when a fire broke out Wednesday in a church-owned lot at the Southcom Village in Barangay Upper Calarian here.
Maria Socorro Rojas, the city social welfare officer, said 95 houses were razed and 17 others partially damaged, displacing 321 persons after the fire that started at 4:44 p.m. was put out around 8 p.m. Aug. 18.
Florencia Arcillas, Upper Calarian barangay chair, said the fire spread around the communities of informal settlers within the property owned by the Archdiocese of Zamboanga along Penafrancia Drive, Camella Drive, and Sunrise Drive of the village.
Rojas said most of the 116 affected families temporarily stayed at a nearby Southcom Elementary School building, while the others stayed with relatives.
Chief Inspector Jaqueline Ortega, the city fire marshal, said electrical overload caused the fire, which had been traced to the house owned by a certain Crispin Quilala before it spread and wrecked about P1.5 million worth of properties in the area.
“It was a huge fire. We were having difficulties putting it out because of very narrow inner roads,” Ortega said.
Arcillas said most of those affected belong to the informal sector, whose houses were made mostly of light materials.
“Majority (of those affected) are boarding houses with home renters,” he said. “The area is owned by the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, so most of those staying there had no legal title or documents,” he added.
He said local officials were closely monitoring the families staying at the school building to ensure that quarantine protocols were observed.