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Fire razes 500 homes in Mandaue

At least 500 houses were gutted in a predawn fire in two barangays in Mandaue City in Cebu province on Saturday.

Senior Inspector Joel Abarcez, chief of the city's fire bureau, said they received a report that fire broke out in Barangay Guizo at around 1:45 a.m.

Abarcez that shortly before 3 a.m., they raised the fire's alarm to Charlie, summoning fire trucks from the nearby municipalities.

He said that the fire quickly spread and affected at least three sitios in Guizo and Barangay Mantuyong because the houses were made of light materials.

The fire marshal added that firetrucks had a hard time responding to the fire because roads leading to the affected areas were too narrow.

The blaze was declared out at around 5:48 a.m.

Facebook user James Dewart Carter was among the city residents who shared photos and videos of the blaze in social media.

This time I manage to get closer. Please share for awareness and Please pray for the victims. I hope no one got hurt ???? and no lives were taken.????????

Posted by James Dewart Carter on Friday, March 11, 2016

Viral video. Huge fire in Guiso Mandaue City. please pray that no one gets hurt. Share the video for awareness Video taken 2:00am

Posted by James Dewart Carter on Friday, March 11, 2016

The city's fire bureau initially pegged the fire's damage at P2.3 million.

The Philippine Red Cross reported on its Twitter account that two residents suffered minor wounds during the fire.

Authorities have yet to determine the exact number of families that were affected by the fire.

Based on initial investigations, the fire could have started from a gas lamp in a house owned by a certain Robinson Aldion.

Abarcez said that according to Aldion, the gas lamp could have been toppled by a cat.

The incident happened even with the Bureau of Fire Protection's intensified fire awareness campaign this month.

March is declared Fire Prevention Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 115-A, s. 1966—report from Norman Mendoza/ALG, GMA News