A woman was killed while a fireman lost a finger in a fire in Balintawak, Quezon City, on Thursday.
The fire that swept an informal-settler neighborhood in Barangay Apolonio Samson was one of 14 blazes recorded in Metro Manila during the final hours of 2014 and on New Year’s Day itself.
Quezon City Fire Marshal Jesus Fernandez identified the fatality as Jaycelin Ang, who was trapped in her house.
An exploding LPG tank cut off a finger on the right hand of firefighter Paul Manuel who had responded to the Balintawak fire. He was treated at the Chinese General Hospital.
The Agence France Presse reported two fatalities but did not provide their names.
Radio reports said a wayward firework hit a house at about 6 a.m., setting it on fire. There was another unconfirmed report that an unattended rice cooker started it.
Fanned by strong winds, the flames quickly spread to neighboring houses.
The fire raged uncontrolled as firefighters ran out of water, unable to quickly replenish their supply because there were no hydrants nearby and the alleys were too narrow.
The general alarm was declared around 8 a.m. requiring all fire units in Metro Manila to respond.
Some residents waded across a creek with their belongings to escape the fire.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista who was at the scene said there were around 400 families that lost their homes. Bautista added that he will talk to the National Housing Authority to help relocate the victims.
Flames lapped at the steeple of the Mother of Perpetual Help chapel before the fire was declared under control at a little past 11 a.m.
An hour later, Fernandez declared the “fire out.”
Authorities said four of the fires in Metro Manila were triggered by pyrotechnics.