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5 dead in Navotas fire, Tiangcos help victims
FIVE residents, including a two-year-old boy, died in a fire while two were injured in a more than five-hour fire that gutted almost 300 houses Monday afternoon in Navotas City.
Navotas Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Director F/SSupt. Pedro Balatero, Jr., identified the fatalities as Ma. Theresa Lopez, 41; Darlyn Baluyot, 18; Diorella Gonzales, 18; Asuncion Gonzales, 65; and a two-year-old boy, all were residing at 59 P. Cadorniga St. Barangay Bagong Bayan North (BBN).
While the two injured victims were identified as Carlos Olidan, 51, and Josefina Sarate, 34, who were both treated by personnel of the Navotas City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO).
Navotas Fire Station Ground Commander F/Supt. Joel Diwata said the fire started at around 3:58 p.m. (Nov. 14) at the residence of certain Letecia Tagle at No. 59 Cadorniga St. Bgy. BNN and quickly spread in houses mostly made up of light materials.
The fire was raised to the 5th alarm at 6:11 p.m. before it reached task force Alpha at around 6:22 p.m. when the blaze started to escalate in the adjacent barangay of Navotas West and razed the houses in Monroy Street.
The fire was placed under control at 8:29 p.m. before it was finally put out at 9:22 p.m., leaving 441 families homeless or equivalent to 1,587 individuals.
Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco said the affected families were evacuated at the temporary isolation facility at the Navotas Centennial Park beside C4 Bus Terminal.
He said arson investigators are still conducting a follow-up investigation to determine if the cause of the fire was an unattended burning candle or faulty electrical wiring.
“Sa sobrang lakas ng hangin, dahil nga tabing-dagat, napadpad ang apoy sa kabila pang barangay at dahil dikit-dikit ang mga bahay, napakaliit ng daanan kaya nahirapang pasukin ng mga bumbero, bukod sa medyo mahina pa ang tubig doon,” Mayor Tiangco said in an interview over DZRH radio.
Mayor Tiangco, along with Congressman Toby Tiangco and Vice Mayor Tito Sanchez, immediately distributed financial assistance, food packs, sleeping kits, and hygiene kits to fire victims at the evacuation center.