According to Fire Inspector John Joseph Jaligue, chief investigator of the Manila Fire District, the building burned for more than three hours. Authorities believed the fire started on the third floor, where the textile warehouse was located.
Firefighters suffered difficulties because melted fabrics penetrate their coat or personal protective equipment. This is why most of the injured were firefighters who sustained minor burns.
Three residents were rushed to the hospital after receiving abrasions.
A Junjun Fornel, who was renting the burning building sustained injuries after he slipped into a water pipe from the fourth floor to escape the fire.
16 injured including firefighters in Tondo fire
According to the building’s owner Perfecto Tiu, the building has been around for six decades.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is investigating whether a building owner violated the fire code, especially when firefighters noticed the building is dark and has no emergency light.
The BFP is also investigating whether the fire was caused by an electrical problem, especially when one of the tenants said he heard an explosion in the building.
Fire damage is estimated at P3 million, while five families are affected. Nearby establishments, as well as a private school which suspended classes.
A unit of nearby nine-storey commercial-residential building was also on fire.