By Francis T. Wakefield and Jamie Rose R. Aberia
Two fires hit residential areas in Quezon City and Manila on New Year’s Eve, leaving estimated damage totaling P2.5 million, according to Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officials.
Two persons were hurt, while 25 families were affected in a fire that started 9:21 p.m. Saturday in Barangay Sta. Lucia in Quezon City.
Quezon City Fire Marshal Sr. Supt. Manuel Manuel identified the victims as John Paul Abujuela, who sustained first degree burn on his right shoulder and Ervin Balatucan, 21, who sustained an abrasion on his left leg.
The victims were trying to escape from the fire when they sustained the injuries.
Manuel said an estimated P200, 000 worth of properties was destroyed in the fire that started at a two-story house owned by Tomy Ariola, 34, and occupied by John Aubrey Esguerra on Raja Soliman Street.
Manuel said that, based on their initial investigation, the fire originated in the second floor of the house and quickly spread to nearby houses, which were made of light materials.
Dozens of fire trucks from both the BFP and fire volunteer groups responded to the scene and put out the fire at 10:38 p.m. the same day.
Fire arson investigators are initially looking at the possibility that an unattended appliance might have caused the fire.
Meanwhile, in Sta. Ana, Manila, five houses were burned in a fire reportedly caused by a firecracker. Estimated damage was placed at P2 million.
The Manila Fire Department’s Chief Insp. Marvin Carbonel said the fire started in a house on Dagupan Street before 12 midnight, as residents were starting to light firecrackers to welcome the new year.
A firecracker was believed to have landed in one of the houses, which quickly spread to nearby homes.
Two ancestral houses made of light materials were among the homes turned into ashes.
The blaze reached the fourth alarm before being declared under control about 12:24 a.m.
No casualty was reported in the incident.