By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — At least 76 houses burned down when a fire swept through a poor neighborhood in Iloilo City Saturday afternoon.
City Fire Marshal Bartolome Beliran said the number of razed houses in Benedicto village, Jaro district, could be higher.
Beliran estimated the damage at P4 million.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) received a call at 3:54 p.m. and all BFP fire trucks and volunteer fire brigades were deployed. It took almost two- and-a-half hours to put out the fire.
Initial investigation revealed the fire started at the residence of Reynaldo Ledesma. Beliran blamed it on electrical overloading due to the illegal connections.
Majority of the homes were made of light materials that easily fueled the flames.
Mayor Jose Espinosa III said the fire-stricken families were temporarily house at the Jaro gym.
The City Social Welfare and Development Office is appealing for donations of used clothing, food and other necessary items for the fire victims.
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