Island inferno: 5,400 homeless, 100 plucked from ashen waters
By the time the island inferno was over, at least a hundred people had to be picked up from waters thick with ash and debris.
Such was the magnitude of the blaze and the panic that engulfed parts of Isla Puting Bato, one of Manila’s shantytowns in Tondo facing Manila Bay.
Arson investigators are tracking down the owner of the shanty believed to be source of Friday’s fire that destroyed the slum community and left some 5,400 people homeless.
Manila fire marshall Supt. Felix Abrenica said they would question Arturo Salapudin, who lived in Block 1, Purok I of Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, to determine the cause of the blaze which required a response not only from firefighters but also from the Coast Guard.
Abrenica said at least five persons were injured, including a fireman, Senior Insp. Reggie Olmedo; resident Joel Bumaray; a 2-year-old child and two teenagers.
Investigation showed that the fire started from Salapudin’s home at around 4:10 p.m., spread across Purok I, and lasted till around 11 p.m.
Teams from the Philippine Coast Guard had to be called in after some residents jumped into the waters of Manila Bay or boarded makeshift rafts to escape the flames.
The PCG yesterday said it had rescued at least 100 people from the water.
The estimated 2,000 families displaced by the fire were temporarily sheltered at Del Pan Sports Complex, where Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and other city officials distributed relief goods yesterday.
Lim said a relocation site awaits the homeless families in Barrio Gayagaya in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan province. With a report from Philip Tubeza
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94