Five people were killed in a four-hour fire that razed a boarding house in Las Piñas City before dawn Saturday.
Las Piñas police chief Senior Supt. Adolfo Samala identified four of the victims as Rodel Cunanan, Alvin Nollen, Rogelo Guman and Erlinda Bautista, all residents of Villanueva compound on 3rd Street, Barangay Almanza Uno.
Cunanan, Nollen and Guman were boarders in a two-story house that had 40 to 50 rooms and was owned by Bautista, according to Fire Officer 2 Carl Jeffrey Campanan. A fifth fatality remained unidentified at press time.
According to Campanan, the victims were practically living in “a fire trap.”
“It used to be a church, then it was converted to have rooms for rent. The walls were still made of light plywood and the hallways were so narrow that only one person could pass at a time,” he said.
Thirty one rooms were occupied when the fire of still unknown cause started around 1:50 a.m., he added.
Injured in the fire were residents Ferolino Lorenzo and Cafranca Reynan, according to Samala.
Campanan said it was possible that a candle left unattended caused the fire, noting that the boarding house had been without power supply for since last month.
The blaze also spread to two more houses before it was declared out at around 6 a.m. Damage was placed at P1 million.
In another fire, patients at Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center in Tondo, Manila, were evacuated to nearby hospitals after its linen storage room went up in flames around 8 p.m. on Friday, according to FO2 Lords Hernandez of the Bureau of Fire Protection.
No one was reported injured and damage was placed at P300,000, Hernandez said. With a report from Nancy Carvajal