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3 die, 2 hurt in Tondo fire



Three people died while two others were injured during a fire that hit a residential area in Barangay 147, Tondo, Manila, Wednesday morning,

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) identified the fatalities as Maria Beniza, 21; Leo Tequillo, 4, and Andrei Tequillo, 5. Beniza was the mother of Leo and Andrei was her nephew, the BFP said.

BFP said the fatalities were locked in embrace when they were found by rescuers.

Two more children, aged seven and eight, sustained first and third degree burns.

According to Fire Inspector John Joseph Jalique, chief of intelligence and investigation of Manila Fire District, they are looking into possibility that someone intentionally started the fire because some residents told them that they smelled gasoline during the blaze.

The chief fire marshal said a land dispute may be the motive behind the alleged arson attack.

Investigation showed the fire broke out in a two-story residential building on H. Lopez Boulevard in Balut, Tondo, at around 6:30 a.m. It reached second alarm but it was declared out at 6:55 p.m.

Around 100 families were affected by the fire as of press time.

The Manila City government, through its Social Welfare Department, has already mobilized its response teams to assist the victims.

The cause and damage of fire have yet to be established. (Erma Edera)