Three big fires broke out in Metro Manila Tuesday, leaving three persons dead, a fireman injured and around 900 families homeless.
The three fatalities were from the blaze that hit the Parola Compound in Tondo, Manila, at 2:32 p.m.
Supt. Leo Carta, head of the Manila Fire Department’s Protection Police District, identified them as Hederita Beldor, 42; Annabelle Cuna, 22; and 2-year-old Teresa Franco.
They were killed when they failed to escape from the third floor of their burning house, which was made of light materials.
“The ground floor was already on fire so they could not get out,” Carta said.
He added that at least 200 families were displaced in the fire, which was put out two hours after it started.
The damage to property was estimated at P5 million.
Meanwhile, 700 families were left homeless as two fires hit slum areas in Valenzuela and Quezon City in the morning.
In both incidents, the blazes were believed to have started in the house of a couple said to be having marital problems.
Supt. Mel Lagan, Valenzuela fire marshal, said they were still trying to determine the cause of the fire that gutted around 500 houses on Gladiola Street, Tampoi 2 Compound in the Marulas area at 2:38 a.m.
He added, however, that there were reports that it may have been set by either Maria Fe Jamolo or her husband Fidel at the height of a heated argument between them although Fidel denied this.
According to witnesses, the blaze that left at least 600 families homeless started when two motorcycles parked in front of the Jamolos’ house caught fire.
Fidel claimed that when he woke up, the motorcycles were already in flames although he had no idea who would set fire to them. “I don’t know who could have done that. I have no enemies,” he said.
The blaze was put out at 6:35 a.m. while the damage to property was estimated at P5 million.
The fire in Balintawak, Quezon City, on the other hand, was being blamed on lit candles that were left unattended in the rush to take to the hospital a woman who had tried to commit suicide.
Fire investigator SFO2 Renato Gallego said the blaze that broke out at 9:36 a.m. in a slum area on Quirino Highway destroyed 50 shanties, P700,000 worth of property and left 100 families homeless.
It was put out at 10:25 a.m. and left a firefighter, FO2 Mervin Banares, with burns on his left hand.
Gallego said the blaze began inside a room on the second floor of a house occupied by Dencio Adona and his wife, Mary Jane. Since the house had no electricity, the couple were using candles for lighting.
A witness said that when the fire broke out, Mary Jane was alone since her husband was at work.
After she reportedly tried to take her own life by drinking silver cleaning fluid, Mary Jane was rushed to the hospital and the candles inside their room were left unattended.
A check with the East Avenue Medical Center showed that the woman was indeed brought in for treatment and then released.—With Kristine Felisse Mangunay and Julie M. Aurelio