On dawn of December 27, another fire hit Barangay Leon Garcia particularly in Gotamco area that destroyed about 350 houses. This was the second fire to have hit this densely-populated Leon Garcia this December and the third since November 14.

In these incidents, about 700 houses have already been destroyed. By estimates, maybe about 5,000 individuals had been left homeless since most of the house were occupied by at least two families.

I spoke to some villagers, who are already in their 70s and late 80s, according to them, this was the first time that the fire hit the old residential area of Gotamco. Most of these elderly fire survivors were born and raised in this coastal community.

In the past, most of the fire hit the informal settlers on the shorelines of the village.

According to witnesses, the fire was reportedly caused by unattended appliances that said to have overheated.

Apart from many of the houses were made of light materials, strong winds may have fueled the fire to spread quickly in the cramped residential area. Narrow pathways also made it difficult for the villagers to evacuate many of the belongings to safer grounds.