At least two children were killed while 2,000 residents were left homeless after a fire razed a shanty neighborhood in Barangay Cembo, Makati City, before dawn on Sunday.
Makati City Fire Chief Ricardo Perdigon said the bodies of Roselyn Ariola, 6 and her brother Robert, 4, were found under the rubble after the blaze.
Perdigon said the children’s father, Emmanuel, was not in the house when the fire struck because he left to check his stall in the Guadalupe public market a little past midnight.
The fire started in the residence of a certain Aida Ampong inside the Macda compound. It razed for about an hour and a half before being put under control.
Fire investigators indicated that the fire might have been caused by a commotion inside Ampong’s house.
One of the tenants of the house reportedly threatened to burn the area.
Since most of the houses are made up of wood and light materials, the fire quickly spread around the neighborhood up to the adjacent San Jose Street in Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo.
Perdigon said firefighters had a hard time dousing the blaze because of the narrow streets.
At least 500 houses were destroyed and their residents temporarily put up tents along J.P. Rizal Extension.
The city government also set up evacuation centers at public schools nearby.