By Terence Ranis
Four people died during a fire that hit a residential area in Sta. Cruz, Manila on Sunday morning, Feb. 20.
According to the initial report of Manila Police District (MPD), the fatalities were identified as Denise Cadag, 15; Rina Mae Hernandez, 21, pregnant; Jasmine Usman, 57; and John Kazim, all occupants of the house located at the corner of M. Natividad and Mayhaligue Streets in Sta. Cruz district, where the fire started.
The remains of the three victims were discovered in the bathroom area while the body of the 15-year-old girl was found near the front door of the house.
One Jimmy Canillas sustained injuries and was rushed to Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center at about 10 a.m.
According to the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the blaze was raised to first alarm at 9:45 a.m. and reached the second alarm at 9:48 a.m. before being extinguished at 10:26 a.m.
Meanwhile, residents in the area claimed that they heard an explosion coming from the house of the victims before the fire started. The blaze also affected an adjacent house.
Investigation is ongoing to determine the cause and origin of the blaze and the cost of fire damage, the BFP said.