A fire destroyed 150 houses in Isla Verde, an urban poor community in the coastal barangay of Barangay 23-C, Poblacion District, Friday noon.
Reports from Central Fire Station revealed that the fire started in the second floor of the house owned by the couple Layla and King Elasio at around 11:20 a.m.
The fire that lasted about two hours reached up to the fourth alarm. It was placed under control at 1:37 p.m.
The fire hit Purok 2 and 3 of Barangay 23-C, a fire-prone community.
No casualty was reported, said SFO3 Ramil Gillado, chief of the Investigation and Intelligence Section of the Davao City Fire District.
Gillado said they are still investigating the cause of the fire that damaged around P2.6 million worth of property.
The fire, fanned by strong winds from the sea, quickly destroyed the houses that were made of light materials and situated close to each other.
A wooden foot bridge connects the houses.
However, some residents failed to recover any item from their house during the fire.
“I was at work when I heard the fire report. I rushed home but it was too late. All of our items, including important documents, were already burned,” said Hamar Mosadi, 25, a worker in a commercial establishment just about a hundred meters away from the area. “I tried to save our things but the wooden bridge that connects to our rented house was already down.”
Mosadi said he and his wife have nowhere to go to after the fire because they are from Sarangani and are just in the city renting for their jobs.
“We rented the place just two months ago because we relocated here from the province to look for a job. We have nowhere to go now,” Mosadi added.
The fire almost reached the nearby Sta. Ana Police Station and the Magsaysay Park, one of the venues in the annual Kadayawan sa Davao.
Firemen sprayed water on the fire station so the fire would not catch the building.
Some 200 affected residents evacuated to the barangay gymnasium, where some residents hit by the recent monsoon wave are still staying.
Major traffic jam hit Uyanguren Street and Quimpo Boulevard following the fire.
It’s the second blaze to hit the barangay this year. Last Feb. 20, some 200 houses were destroyed in Purok 4.
In 2014, a conflagration hit the barangay that spread to the adjacent barangays – 21-C and 22-C – and affected around 1,000 residents.
The Isla Verde barangays sit on a previously vacant government lot that had been gradually settled by impoverished migrants to the city of 1.6 million people.
(with Rhoda Grace B. Saron)