Firefighters retrieve the bodies of a woman, her son and his cousin following a fire that destroyed a two-story house along H. Lopez Boulevard in Tondo, Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban
Two kids, woman die in Manila fire
Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A woman and two children died in a fire in Tondo, Manila yesterday in what residents said was an alleged arson incident.

The fire, which reached second alarm, razed a two-story house along H. Lopez Boulevard around 6 a.m. yesterday.

The fire lasted less than an hour and was put out shortly before 7 a.m., but it claimed the lives of Mara Benza, 21, her four-year-old son Leo Lance Tequillo and Leo Lance’s five-year-old cousin Andrei Tequillo.

Two children, aged seven and eight, sustained injuries.

Ten houses were razed in the fire that displaced 20 families and caused P50,000 in damages.

Residents have complained to Mayor Isko Moreno during his visit yesterday about receiving threats of arson, according to the Manila social welfare office head Asuncion Fugoso.

Residents have also put on a sign that read: “Tulungan niyo kami. Kami ay sinunog nila (Help us. They set us on fire),” Fugoso added.

“The mayor promised to investigate the allegation. He told them that if there is no court order for demolition, then they should stay,” Fugoso said.

Fire investigator Axle Ramos said they have yet to establish arson as a motive for the fire.

The city government gave P5,000 cash assistance per family of the fire victims, Fugoso said.

It pains her heart to see another fire that killed the lives of children, she added.

Last Friday, an elderly woman and two children aged two and seven died in a fire that razed a residential apartment in Paco, Manila.    

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