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6,000 families lose homes in Manila slum fires

Aie Balagtas See (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - More than 6,000 families were left homeless when fires broke out in different parts of Tondo, Manila from Monday night until yesterday afternoon.

Flames razed shanties occupying four hectares of land in Parola Compound. The fire started at around 6:30 p.m. Monday at the compound’s Gate 46 and ended at houses near Gate 64.

City officials said the distance between the two gates is 800 meters.

It took 13 hours for firefighters to put out the fire. No one was reported hurt.

They ran out of water and had difficulty penetrating the shantytown’s narrow alleys. The main road was blocked by residents and their belongings.

The area was placed under general alarm, which meant that all fire trucks available in the metropolis were supposed to go to the site.

At around 1 p.m. yesterday, another fire broke out, this time at the compound’s Gate 1. At least 50 houses were gutted and 100 families were left homeless by the time the blaze was put out around two hours later.

ABS-CBN reported that a volunteer firefighter was hurt.

Arson investigators are looking into faulty wiring as the cause of both fires, while other reports state that power pilferage, using “jumpers” or illegal connections, may have caused the fires.

They have yet to establish how much property the fires destroyed.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said the city government has been feeding 12,000 fire victims three meals a day and he has been asking businessmen and the local Chinese community to help him give the victims financial assistance.

He said he will use his office’s discretionary fund to give each family P2,000.

Meanwhile, 25 families lost their homes when a fire broke out at the Albania Compound on Payatas Road in Quezon City Monday night.

Fire marshal Jesus Fernandez said the blaze was caused by an unattended lit candle in the bedroom of Ailyn Reginaldo’s house at past 8 p.m.

The flames razed 20 other houses and reached up to the fourth alarm before it was put out just before 11 p.m.

No one was reported hurt in the fire, which destroyed P100,000 worth of property, Fernandez said. – With Jose Rodel Clapano, Robertzon Ramirez

AILYN REGINALDO ALBANIA COMPOUND FIRE JESUS FERNANDEZ MANILA MAYOR JOSEPH ESTRADA PAROLA COMPOUND PAYATAS ROAD QUEZON CITY MONDAY ROBERTZON RAMIREZ WITH JOSE RODEL CLAPANO
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