Tondo fire leaves 2,000 families homless
MANILA, Philippines – Manila arson investigators are trying to track down on Saturday the owner of a hovel where a fire that razed an entire shantytown in Tondo’s Isla Puting Bato and left some 2,000 families homeless on Friday afternoon is believed to have started.
Manila Fire Marshall Superintendent Felix Abrenica told the Philippinen Daily Inquirer they were trying to locate Arturo Salapudin, owner of the shanty at Block 1, Purok I, Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, to try to piece together what triggered Friday’s conflgration, which drew all available firefighting units in Metro Manila as well as the Philippine Coast Guard.
Abrenica added that arson investigators have not yet determined what caused the fire, which destroyed about 500 houses and left more than 5,400 people homeless.
He said at least five persons, including a fireman and three minors, were injured. Wounded were Senior Insp. Reggie Olmedo; Joel Bumaray; and three minors, a 2-year-old and two 14-year-old boys.
Reports from the Manila Fire District revealed that the fire started from Salapudin’s home at around 4:10 p.m. Friday and was completely put out at 10:49 p.m.
The Philippine Coast Guard helped in the rescue as some residents of the compound, estimated to to house up to 3,000 families, jumped into makeshift boats on Manila Bay to escape from the flames.
The PCG rescued more than 100 people from the water.
The 2,000 families affected by the fire were temporarily sheltered at the Del Pan Sports Complex where Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and other city officials paid them a visit to distribute relief goods, used clothes, mats and blankets.
Lim directed the local social welfare department to ensure that the victims of the fire are fed three times a day.
The mayor handed out financial assistance to the affected families and asked the public to extend help to the victims.
He assured the victims that a relocation site awaited them in Barrio Gayagaya in San Jose, Del Monte, Bulacan.
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