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A fire that raged for nearly two hours burned more than 150 houses in two Cebu City barangays Wednesday noon.

As many as 2,252 persons were left homeless, but the final number may be higher. The flames also forced more than 1,000 pupils out of a public school building, while customers of a nearby motel scampered out of harm's way. The fire burned an estimated P2.6 million worth of belongings.

Of the number, 1,417 are from Sitio Ponce in Barangay Carreta, while 835 are from Sitios Terra Cura, Sambag and Tariman in Barangay Tejero.

At least 70 houses were burned in Barangay Carreta. It was Tejero's second fire in less than two months. More than 200 families were left homeless when a fire struck the barangay last July 9.

Firefighters received the general alarm at 11:55 a.m. After 30 minutes of firefighting, some of the fire trucks ran out of water.

Cebu City Fire Marshall Aderson Comar said the firefighters struggled to put out the flames because the roads were so narrow that only the mini-fire trucks from different barangays could approach the fire scene.

All the fire trucks in Cebu City and those of neighboring towns rushed to the scene. Among the neighboring cities and towns that sent help were Naga, Talisay, Mandaue, Minglanilla, Liloan and Consolacion.

Based on the initial investigation, the fire started in a two-storey house where a gas tank allegedly exploded. However, fire investigators said they will have to investigate further to confirm what caused the fire.

The flames quickly spread through the houses, most of which were made of light materials. It took at least one hour and 45 minutes before firefighters put the flames out, said SFO3 Jimmy Layao, Cebu City fire investigator.

Immediate relief and temporary shelter has been taken cared of by the Barangay officials as well as the DSWS of Cebu City. More relief campaigns are initiated to help the fire victims.

The photo used in this post was taken by Mr. Don Jade Canama who had a panoramic view of the fire from the 10th floor of Ayala Land office where he works as a Property Specialist.