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Metro

4 dead in Quezon City clinic fire

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Twenty-year-old Joshua Bucad fainted as he hugged his parents and two sisters at the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) morgue after they died in a fire that broke out at their dental and optical clinic in Barangay San Roque, Quezon City before dawn yesterday.

Joshua’s father Rodolfo, a dentist, 55; mother Gracita, an ophthalmologist, 55; Hazel, another dentist, 30; and Trisha, 20, a student, died of suffocation while they were sleeping on the second floor of the family-run Sight and Bite clinic on 15th Avenue, barangay captain Nonoy Mortega told The STAR.

Joshua, a call center agent, was at work when he saw on television some firefighters trying to put out the fire at their clinic. He was accompanied by some of his co-workers when he arrived at the clinic.  

Mortega said Joshua was shaking as he asked about his family.

“I couldn’t break the bad news to him so I decided to accompany him to the EAMC and brought him to the hospital’s morgue, where he saw his parents and sisters,” he said.

Mortega said the fire, believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring, started at the clinic’s first floor at past 3 a.m.

It was only discovered when a bystander asked for barangay councilman Ramil Singson’s help after black smoke billowed out of the clinic, he said. 

Singson called firefighters from their barangay and Barangay Socorro when he found the clinic’s glass door was hot and smoke obscured the inside of the clinic.

It took firefighters more than 30 minutes after smashing the glass door to get to the room where the Bucads were sleeping, Mortega said. They were brought to the EAMC at around 4 a.m. 

Fire marshal Jesus Fernandez said the fire was put out at past 5 a.m. and the estimated damage was pegged at P100,000.

Two Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officials initiated an investigation yesterday but relatives asked them to delay the probe until a family member can witness it, Mortega said.

Barangay officials learned the building did not have a fire exit, he added, noting that city hall officials conducted random inspections of commercial establishments in Barangay San Roque the day before the fire broke out.   

“The city government does the inspections regularly. This is just an isolated case, they may have overlooked this clinic when they conducted the inspection,” he said.

Mortega said that they are willing to give assistance to the family of the victims.

 

ACIRC

BARANGAY

BARANGAY SAN ROQUE

BARANGAY SOCORRO

CLINIC

EAST AVENUE MEDICAL CENTER

FIRE

JESUS FERNANDEZ

JOSHUA BUCAD

MORTEGA

NONOY MORTEGA

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