1,000 families homeless in Tondo fire

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
1,000 families homeless in Tondo fire
This photo shows a picture of a fireman trying to extinguish a fire.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — An estimated 1,000 families were left homeless in a fire that consumed reportedly half of the slum community of Isla Puting Bato in Tondo, Manila for over nine hours on Wednesday.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) raised first alarm on the blaze that hit one of the houses at 3:55 p.m. The fire reached fifth alarm at 5:08 p.m. and Task Force Alpha at 5:31 p.m.

The last alarm called for a response from 14 fire trucks from the Manila Fire District and 14 others from other BFP districts, as well as two firefighting boats, a special rescue force from Caloocan City and two ambulances.

The BFP declared the fire at Isla Puting Bato controlled at 8:29 p.m. and put out at 1:07 am.

Volunteer firefighters Raul Eumague, 43, and Mark James Teng, 19, as well as 21-year-old resident EJ Medina sustained cuts, abrasions and first-degree burns, according to the agency.

The displaced families were given modular tents as well as rice porridge and meals during the night.

The city government vowed that the families would be given cash assistance.

According to earlier reports, some residents blamed faulty electrical plugs and unattended cooking as the cause of the fire, which was aggravated by strong winds.

The BFP has yet to determine the cause of the fire.

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