Amid relocation issues, fire hits illegal settlers' area in Makati City

(UPDATE) Two were injured as fires razed separate locations in Makati City.

The fire at Botanical Garden in Makati City started 10:19 am Thursday and has reached General Alarm by 10:44 am, an inspector from the Manila Bureau of Fire Protection said. As of 11:30 AM, the blaze was declared under control, according to Makati Traffic's Twitter post.

A General Alarm is the highest fire alarm system and requires that all firetrucks from the National Capital Region respond to the blaze.

The inspector said no evacuation has been announced but he noted the fire spread fast. Fire cause has yet to be determined, he added.

Meanwhile, Makati Mayor Junjun Binay said he was able to talk to the medical director of Makati Medical Center and that there is no need to evacuate patients yet.

At least 300 families, mostly illegal settlers, residing in the affected area will however be temporarily transferred either under the Skyway or in a vacant lot across Makati Medical Center, said Binay.

Meanwhile, a fire whose alarm has been raised to Task Force Alpha, also hit Bagtikan Street in Makati, injuring two. The victims were brought to St. Claire Medical Center in Makati and Ospital ng Makati.

Illegal settlers and relocation 

Binay said the illegal settlers are set to be transferred even before the fire incident, noting of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino's existing program to clear the waterways. Binay added the compound razed by the fire should remain open as it is part of Napocor's line. The Makati government will give each homeowner initial money and the long-term housing plan will be carried out by the National Housing Authority.

"Hindi maaalis ang speculation na kaya nasunog ay dahil gusto sila paalisin. But we're open to investigation," Binay said.

Another likely fire cause, Binay said, could be cramped electric jumpers in the area.

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