Seven-hour fire gutted 1,000 houses in Muntinlupa City

May 15, 2010 11:02 pm 

By Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA, May 15 —A seven-hour fire of still unknown origin gutted about 1,000 residential houses in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa City at dawn Saturday.

The blaze that reached a general alarm caused traffic jams in both lanes of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) Sr. Supt. Pablito Cordeta, Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) chief, said that the fire broke out at the Carmina-Bunye Compound, where majority of houses were made up of light materials, along the East Service Road in Barangay Cupang at about 4 a.m. Saturday.

Cordeta said the fire reached a general alarm, meaning all available fire trucks from fire stations around Metro Manila were called on to respond.

The blaze was placed under control at about 10 a.m., the Muntinlupa BFP said.

Ivy Vital of the Manila Toll Expressway Systems, Inc. (Mates), the new operators of SLEX, said that the influx of fire trucks in the area as well as the billowing smoke stalled the flow of vehicles along the highway.

“The smoke is very dark and thick,” said Vital, adding that vehicles on both lanes were forced to go at a standstill along Susana Heights.

An outpour of fire victims and their saved personal belongings also compounded the traffic jams on the highway.

Although the fire was yet to be put out completely as of press time, the local BFP has estimated that between 800 to 1,000 houses had been razed. The figure translates to roughly 4,000 individuals.

No injuries or casualties have been reported and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation. (PNA) RMA/CLTC

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