The fire that struck Sitio Ambulong, Manoc-Manoc village on Boracay Island on Thursday morning was raised to the highest alarm level as it destroyed about 50 houses, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Malay town, Aklan reported.
200 residents were displaced, although no casualty was recorded, Supt. Naz Cablayan, BFP Malay chief, said in a phone interview.
The highest alarm means all fire trucks available within and the nearest areas must respond.
Cablayan said 13 fire trucks from the BFP, Boracay Action Group – Fire and Medical Responders, and Boracay Water, among others, responded to the scene.
He said the station received the fire alarm at 8:40 a.m. Based on the initial investigation, the blaze originated from a kitchen fire.
“One of the residents was cooking rice when the fire reached light materials in the kitchen area. The resident was anxious and immediately went out of the house,” he said.
The fire spread to neighboring houses, mostly made of light materials. Fire damage was estimated at PHP1 million.
The fire lasted up to three hours as the firefighters faced challenges in reaching the area, finding it difficult to “penetrate” the narrow alleyways leading to the fire scene, Cablayan said, noting that the houses were also built too close together. Strong winds likewise fanned the blaze, causing it to spread quickly.
Cablayan said the area was considered “fire-prone” as “there were fire incidents there in the past,” which the bureau immediately put out.
Fire out was declared at 11:52 a.m. while firefighters continued their mopping-up operations and investigation. (PNA)