Fire razes Pasig, QC homes; 1 resident dead
A 58-year-old sickly man trapped in his apartment unit died in a fire on New Year’s eve at a compound in Pasig City recently visited by President Rodrigo Duterte for the wake of PO3 Wilfredo Gueta who was killed in an encounter with drug suspects.
According to a report reaching Pasig City Bureau of Fire Protection Fire Marshall Arturo Marcos, the victim Elmer Lañora, 58, who was alone in his house and could not move because of an illness, died after a one-and-a-half-hour fire that engulfed his rented unit at # 32 Katarungan St. in Brgy Caniogan around 10:55 p.m.
The two-story residential unit was owned by one Zenaida Cruz.
Senior Fire Officer 2 Robert Maravilla said the fire reached third alarm. Fifteen houses were burnt down leaving at least 40 families homeless.
The BFP said the cost of damage amounted to P2 million.
Eye witness Ernesto Palad said he saw the ground floor being occupied by Lañora already on fire.
Palad told probers he tried to open the door but it was locked from the inside prompting them to forcibly open the area. Palad said he also saw the LPG tank leaking from Lañora’s super kalan at the kitchen that time.
The fire had already spread to the ceiling, he added, but residents tried to put out the fire using buckets of water.
Before the fire was declared out around 12:15 a.m., the nephew of Leticia de Ocampo informed firemen that Lañora, who was sick, asthmatic and was able to move, was inside the unit.
The firefighters immediately searched the unit and found Lañora’s unrecognizable and totally charred body at the middle portion of the ground floor.
In his report, Senior Insp. Anthony Arroyo, Pasig City BFP arson investigator chief, said the BFP also interviewed witnesses considering the possibility of foul play. However, based on initial investigations, Lañora could have been trapped inside the unit and died of suffocation.
Arroyo said the responding firemen fight it difficult to penetrate the area due to the very narrow and almost impassable road. Firemen then had to respond on foot causing “considerable delay and worsen(ing) the situation,” the report said.
The cause of fire is still under investigation, Maravilla said.
Another Pasig fire
After three hours, another fire hit a four-story residential apartment located at Suarez St. in Martin Compound in Brgy Maybunga,Pasig which left four families homeless.
The fire started around 2:50 am at the fourth floor of the apartment occupied by a certain Jefferson Regado, 36, who was in the province, according to the BFP report.
The BFP was able to confine the fire to the fourth and third floor through the help of the residents.
The fire, which reached first alarm, was put out around 3:35 p.m., said Fire Officer 1 Jose Adrian Pura.
The cost of damage amount to P200,000. The cause of fire is still under investigation.
In Brgy Bagbag in Novaliches, Quezon City, a fire broke out at a barracks for construction workers.
The fire reached second alarm and was put out after 30 minutes.
Quezon City Fire Marshall Manuel Manuel said no one was reported hurt but the damage amounted to around P50,000.
The BFP is still looking into the cause of fire, including the possibility it could have been caused by firecrackers. /jpv
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