COTABATO CITY – Fires of still unknown origin gutted down several houses in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte and Marawi City on Sunday, leaving dozens of families homeless and aggravating most of the victims’ lingering agony from the havocs of the infamous 20017 siege among Maranao communities.
No casualties were reported in both fires.
But one of fires completely gutted down 18 houses at Barangay Tampilong of war-torn Marawi City Sunday morning, displacing further 28 families, according to reports reaching here.
Bureau of Fire Protection investigators still determining the cause of the fire deemed incident as “very tragic” because some of the victims were internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking refuge in the 18 ill-fated residential houses.
Emergency workers from the local government units (LGUs) of Marawi City and Lanao del Sur started providing relief foods and basic stuffs for the 28 families sheltered momentarily in seven large tents. The LGUs gave assured to yield one tent for each of the displaced families.
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, who responded to Barangay Tampilong Sunday noon, said he would ask the national government and private humanitarian entities to augment the local relief initiatives.
NCMF spokesman Dimapuno Alonto-Datu Ramos said Sec. Pangarungan and some field subordinates also visited Balo-i town in Lanao del Norte where another fire, also of still unknown origin, occurred Sunday.
He said Balo-i town Mayor Elias Ali told the NCMF team that the fire was contained by firefighters from his turf and responding counterparts from the cities of Marawi and Iligan as well as adjacent Saguiaran town, Lanao del Sur.
Mayor Ali’s sketchy report estimated P30-million worth of damage in the fire that gutted down almost a dozen of big residential and commercial buildings in his town. (Ali G. Macabalang)