A mentally-disabled woman was charred to death and another man died of cardiac arrest during an eight-hour fire where 80 firetrucks responded at an informal settlers colony in Mandaluyong City yesterday.
Reports gathered at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP-Mandaluyong City) identified the fatalities as Wilma Laureno, 26, and Rolly Onchonra, 29, both of Block 35, Welfareviile Compound, Bgy. Addition Hills.
According to Chief Insp. Roberto Samillano Jr., Mandaluyong City fire marshal, Laureno, said to be mentally disabled, was charred beyond recognition when recovered by firemen inside the living room of her burnt house while Onchonra died from cardiac arrest at the Mandaluyong City Medical Center (MCMC).
Samillano said the fire broke out at 7:35 p.m. Sunday at the shanties of the informal settlers located at Block 35, Welfareville Compound, Bgy. Addition Hills.
The fire started at the house of Alex Naga, a barangay employee, who at the time, was not around. Residents said they heard a loud explosion before the fire. The fire immediately spread to adjacent houses made of light materials.
Samillano said the disabled woman, who was left alone inside the house after his uncle William Laureno, reported for work. The woman was not able to run outside and was trapped inside the house.
The other fatality, according to a resident who was drunk when the fire broke out, died from cardiac arrest when he panicked and got trapped inside.
BFP said some 80 firetrucks from different fire stations in Metro Manila and nearby regions helped contain the fire which reached general alarm.
The fire quickly spread to some 500 residential houses at Block 35, Block 36, and Block 37 of the compound. The fire also razed the barangay hall and two covered courts.
Firefighters were able to put out the fire at 3:24 a.m. yesterday.
“Compacted kasi ’yung bahay na nasa gitna at pinagmulan ng sunog, kaya mabilis na kumalat at nadamay at nilamon lahat ng katabing bahay at dahil na rin sa light materials at dahil gabi pa at masisikip ang daan, hindi makapasok ang mga bumbero,” the fire marshal said.
An estimated P10 million worth of properties were damaged and at least 1,000 families were left homeless in the fire incident.
Samillano said a gas leak from a liquefied petroleum gas caused the blaze.
The Mandaluyong City government is now providing assistance to the affected families who are now at the barangay hall, school and covered court for their temporary shelter.