At least 50 houses were gutted when fire broke out along the coastal community of Sama-Badjao in the village of Labuan, Zamboanga City past 3 a.m. Saturday.
Oning Maravilla, the village chairman, said the fire started from a house made of light materials in Purok 3 and quickly spread to adjacent houses.
It only took about an hour for all 50 houses to be razed to the ground.
Maravilla said fire trucks responded late as they struggled to call for backup fire trucks from the nearest fire station.
Their village had its own fire station but its fire truck had been due for repair since last year.
Maravilla said it was too late when the trucks reached the scene as most of the houses had burned down.
Fire investigators suspected faulty electrical wiring was the cause of the fire.
Maravilla said, based on information he learned, illegal power connections were rampant in the community.
No one was reported hurt in the fire.
The local government of Zamboanga, as well as the social welfare and development office, promised to address the immediate needs of affected families.