169 families lose homes in Cadiz City fire
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental — At least 169 families were displaced after a three-hour fire gobbled up 113 houses in an urban poor village considered by the police a drug-affected area in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.
As of Tuesday afternoon, fire investigators were still determining the cause of fire that broke out at 5:35 a.m. on Tuesday at Purok San Pedro in Barangay Zone 4, Cadiz.
Cadiz Fire Chief Gregorio Otico III said no one was reported hurt in the blaze that took firefighters three hours to put out.
He said there were allegations that the fire was intentionally set.
Supt. Edel Jose Manzano, Cadiz City police chief, said a man identified as Tonton de la Cruz was arrested after several witnesses claimed the suspect torched his house. De La Cruz was reportedly mentally disturbed.
Manzano said De la Cruz, a nephew of a drug personality in the barangay who was earlier arrested, was mobbed by his angry neighbors who accused him of starting the fire that quickly spread in the neighborhood.
Otico said they had difficulty putting out the fire because the passageways were too narrow for them to maneuver their vehicles. The fire quickly razed houses, most of which were made of light materials.
Both the Cadiz police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have conducted numerous raids and buy-bust operations in Barangay Zone 4, which has been described by some as a “shabu talipapa.”
Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante said the 169 affected families have been temporarily housed at the Cadiz East Elementary School and have been helped by social workers. SFM
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