Fire razes over 100 houses in Boracay

Boy Ryan B. Zabal
Fire razes over 100 houses in Boracay
The 3-hour blaze reaches general alarm and destroys homes Sitio Ambulong, Barangay Manocmanoc

BORACAY, Philippines – Around 145 families were left homeless in Boracay Island after a fire broke out in a residential area here Thursday morning, October 24.

The fire razed houses in Sitio Ambulong in Barangay Manocmanoc. The fire alarm was received around 8:45 am, calling for fire trucks, fire brigades and volunteers in the island.

Provincial Fire Marshall Superintendent Nazrudyn Cablayan said strong wind caused the fire to spread quickly to the houses which were made of light materials.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) raised the alert to general alarm before it was declared under control at 10:33 am. BFP declared fire out at 11:55 am.

Fire fighters had a hard time getting into the hilly area of Sitio Ambulong due to narrow roads.

“Fire prone at dikit dikit ang kabahayan sa area. Hindi rin accessible sa mga fire trucks, nagdugtong dugtong tayo ng mga fire hose para makalapit tayo sa area, dahil iskinita at maliliit ang mga daan doon,” Cablayan added.

(This is a fire prone area because the houses were built too close to each other, Fire trucks  could not enter because the streets are so narrow, so had to connect the fire hoses together to get closer.)

BORACAY BLAZE. Firefighting teams deployed from downtown Boracay Island. Photo by BAG-BFRAV

No casualties were reported in the fire, but damage to properties was initially pegged at around P1-million.

Tataas pa ito pag declare ng mga nasunugan sa kanilang affidavit of loss. Umabot sa 100 kabahayan ang nasunog at 157 na tao ang inisyal na apektado sa tatlong oras na sunog. Mag-conduct pa tayo ng inspection para malaman natin ang tamang numero ng bahay na nasunog,” Cablayan stressed.

(We expect the estimated damage to property to increase when the victims submit their respective affidavits of loss. Some 100 houses were burned down, and an initial 157 people were affected by the 3-hour fire. We will still conduct an inspection to get the exact number of houses destroyed.)

Fire trucks from BFP Ibajay, Buruanga, Malay, Caticlan airport, Boracay Action Group-Boracay Fire Rescue Ambulance Volunteers, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, Savoy Hotel Boracay and Fairways and Bluewater Boracay, and water tankers of Boracay Island Water Company and Boracay Tubi System also responded during the general alarm.

May anggulo tayong tinitingnan na may nagluluto ng sinaing, lumaki ang apoy sa kusina. Malakas din ang hangin kaya mahirap natin na maapula ang sunog,” the fire official said.

(We are looking at the angle that the fire started in a house where someone was cooking rice, because there reports that it started in a kitchen. The strong headwinds made it harder to put out the fire.)

The fire victims were temporarily evacuated to the Manocmanoc covered court. Most of the victims were unable to save their belongings.

Barangay and municipal officials provided assistance to the affected families through Malay acting town mayor Frolibar Bautista and Manocmanoc barangay captain Nixon Sualog.

Napapansin natin na madalas ang sunog dahil urbanized na ang Boracay. Itong Oktubre, dalawa na ang sunog. Paalala lang na huwag nating iwanan ang niluluto natin, tingnan natin kung kaya ng ating mga outlet ang electric stove,” Cablayan said.

(We notice an increase in fire incidences because Boracay in now an urbanized area. Just this October, two fires broke out. We are reminding everyone not to leave their cooking unattended. They should also check their electrical outlets, if these can be used for electric stoves.) –

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