A fire razed five houses built close to each other in Barangay Bugtong na Pulo, Lipa City, Batangas dawn on February 11, 2024.
Investigators said that aside from the wind that fanned the flames, it was easy for the fire to spread because aside from their proximity to each other, the houses were also made partly of light materials.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) also said it was difficult to access the area due to narrow roads and other obstacles on the street.
"Una po ay dikit-dikit [yung mga bahay], pati yung malakas na hangin, kaya mabilis na kumalat ng apoy pero sa pamamagitan din ng mabilis na pag-aapula po ng mga bumbero, mabilis po na namatay 'yung apoy," SFO1 Joel Contreras, the Chief Investigator of the Lipa City BFP, said.
The fire reached only the first alarm and no one was reported hurt. The cause of the fire is being determined as of this writing.
The seven families affected have taken shelter at a school.
"Usok agad siya na maitim tapos sumilip na po 'yung apoy tapos maya maya po, may nagputukan na po, naglabasan na po kami noon. Kumalat na po siya tapos sunod-sunod po ang putukan tapos' yung diklap ng kuryente. Biglang umapoy ho siya ng malaki talaga," Judy Ann Blasco, a resident, said.
Blasco's house was spared from the fire and she managed to bring her appliances and other belongings away from the area.
Another resident, Luz Ubanan, is also grateful that her house was spared. She now appeals for help for her neighbors.
"Kung sino man po yung may puso at may kaakayanang tumulong, yun lang po ang hiling ko, kahit saan po kayong grupo o ahensya ng pamahalaan please lang po pakitulungan po sila [na nasunuga]," she said.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) will extend help to the families affected.