By ERMA R. EDERA
Six people, including three children, perished while another one was injured in a two-hour fire that broke out in a house in Tondo, Manila, Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Inspector Redentor Alumno, Manila chief arson investigator, identified the fatalities as Anabelle Bermudo, 30, and her daughter Juliana, 13; siblings Isabel, 8, and Bryan Ygonia,7; and one Jojo Castigador. The sixth victim remains unidentified since the body was burnt beyond recognition.
Alumno said the fire started at about 2 p.m. at a two-storey house beside a building on C.P. Garcia Street in Barangay 118.
Probers said firefighters found Anabelle and Juliana on the fourth floor of one of the burnt houses. They were rushed to Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center but Juliana was declared dead on arrival while Anabelle expired while undergoing treatment.
Alumno said one Manuel Bermudo, who sustained injuries after he jumped from the window of his house, said one of the fatalities was his sibling.
Bermudo claimed that his 14-year-old sister was trapped in the burning house.
The Manila Fire Department (MFD) said the building’s fire exit has no stairway going down. MFD also claimed that the building had no permit.
Alumno said the area was difficult to penetrate because of narrow and crowded alleys. He added that strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly in the neighborhood.
Fire investigators said the fire gutted 15 houses.
MFD said the blaze reached second alarm before being put out at 4:02 p.m.
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire.