• Fire breaks out in Manila condominium; 5,000 residents evacuated

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    FIRE broke out from a condominium in Manila on Thursday and, as of posting time, continued to engulf the 12-storey building.

    Insp. Hector Agadulin of the Manila Fire Protection Bureau said some 5,000 residents vacated the Binondo Terraces along Alvarado Street in Barangay 292, Zone 28, District 3.

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

    The fire, which started at 11:36 a.m., was traced to an unattended stove on Unit 805 on the eighth floor, said Agadulin. The owner of the unit has not been identified.

    The fire immediately spread to nearby floors and has reached fifth alarm, he said.

    Traffic has been closed on all roads leading to Plaza San Lorenzo Ruiz and Recto Avenue.

    Almost all occupants of the condominium are Filipino-Chinese.

    Meanwhile, Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada ordered an extensive inspection of medium- and high-rise buildings in the city, especially those which were old and dilapidated, to determine if they complied 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. JIM PILAPIL

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