1 dead, thousands lose homes in Binondo fire

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At least one person died and 5,000 people lost their homes when a fire gutted a 12-story condominium in Binondo, Manila on Thursday.

The fire at Binondo Terraces started at 11:36 a.m. It took firemen seven to control the blaze.

TO SAFETY Firefighters and health workers evacuate a resident of the Binondo Terraces. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

The lone fatality was identified as Patricia Saw, an occupant of Unit 804.

Firemen had difficulty of finding people trapped inside their units because some owners locked their doors to secure their property from robbers.

Probers said an unattended stove on the eighth floor started the fire. The blaze spread quickly and reached fifth alarm.

Affected families were taken to the Barangay 292 open court under the supervision of Barangay Chairman Mary Chua.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered an extensive inspection of medium and high-rise buildings in the city, especially the old and dilapidated ones, to determine if they comply with fire safety regulations.

“We should check and identify those buildings and structures that had become fire traps. We should act now before it’s too late,” he said.

The order was directed at the Office of the City Engineer and the Manila Fire Department.

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