A fire broke out in Manila on Friday and another in Quezon City on the same day, leaving 500 families homeless and destroying P5 million in property.
No deaths were reported in both blazes.
The fire in Quiapo district in the nation’s capital started at 9 a.m. from a house of a certain Alex Cayetano located in a lot occupied by informal settlers near the Manila City Jail and Manila Police Station 3 along Quezon Boulevard and Recto Avenue.
The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
“I was cleaning our toilet when I heard people screaming. When I reached the door, I immediately jumped out of the house because the fire was right in front of me,” said Loida Borromeo, 34, who was not able to save anything from her house.
The blaze reached general alarm and was placed under control at 12:30 p.m.
Six persons were injured, including Senior Fire Officer 4 Abner Mallari, whose eyes were injured by minute objects.
A non-uniformed personnel of the Manila City Jail, Paula Quansay, lost consciousness but recovered after few minutes of rest.
Manila Fire Marshall Supt. Jaime Ramirez said his men have only accounted for the six persons who were injured.
They are yet to account for those who were given first aid by private individuals.
Meanwhile, at the Manila City Jail, the management decided to transfer female inmates to an adjacent dormitory while male inmates were brought to the chapel.
The blaze created monstrous traffic along Quezon Boulevard up to Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and nearby roads like those going to Divisoria, and along Rizal Avenue up to Caloocan City.
Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada visited the victims at 3:15 p.m.
The city’s Social Welfare and Development Office was ordered to provide three meals a day to evacuees, some clothes and blankets.
In Quezon City, the fire started from the 14th floor of the 22-story Aurora Tower in Cubao.
According to the city’s Bureau of Fire Protection, the blaze in Barangay Socorro broke out at a unit occupied by a private office.
Fire Marshall Supt. Jesus Fernandez reported that they raised the fire to 5th alarm at 10:47 a.m.
Fire volunteers found it hard to stop the fire from spreading, using breathing apparatus to keep them from running up and down the building and from the smoke.
The fire was declared under control at 12:38 p.m.
Isetann Mall, which reportedly occupies the first four floors of the building, temporarily stopped its operations.
Its employees were able to vacate the mall immediately.
Officials of the Aurora Towers said faulty electrical wiring may have caused the fire.