PANAMA CITY – No one was hurt on Wednesday when a fire destroyed three colonial-era homes in Panama City’s historic district, Panamanian authorities said.
The blaze started around midday in an emblematic structure known as the Casa del Barco and spread to two nearby buildings, the Panama City Fire Department said on Twitter.
Fire chief Jaime Villar told reporters that the fire spread “very fast” because the house was made of wood and the pressure of the water running through the firefighters’ hoses “was not very high.”
Authorities said that families whose homes were affected are being relocated.
“Situation under control! We are still extinguishing the cinders,” the fire department said on Twitter about an hour after the flames began.
Panama’s National Institute of Culture said that the cause of the fire remains unknown and identified the other affected buildings as Casa de Francia and Casa Rosada.
Dating from the 17th century, the colonial complex long suffered from neglect until the United Nations declared it a World Heritage Site in 1997.