516 families homeless due to Navotas fire that killed 5, hurt 2


The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has identified the five residents who died in a fire that gutted homes at Cardoniga St., Barangay Bagumbayan North (BBN) and Monroy St., Brgy. Navotas West in Navotas City on Monday, Nov. 14.

The Navotas City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) said a total of 516 families were affected by the fire, 184 of them from BBN and 332 from Navotas West.

The BFP identified the five fatalities as Ma. Theresa Lopez, 41, and her two-year-old son; Asuncion Tongco Gonzales, 65, and her granddaughter Diorella Gonzales, 18, all residents of Cadorniga St., BBN; and Darlyn Baluyot, 18, Diorella’s friend, of Brgy. Bangkulasi.

The two injured victims were identified as Carlos Olidan, 51, and Josefina Sarate, 34, both residents of Cadorniga St., BBN. They are now in stable condition.

According to Navotas DRRMO, the bodies of Lopez and her son were found in their bedroom while Gonzales, her granddaughter and Baluyot's bodies were found in the comfort room of their house.

It said the victims struggled to escape the fire because the hallways of their houses were narrow.

The bodies of the dead victims were brought to Navotas City DRRMO for the city’s “Libreng Libing” program.

NDRRMO said the families of the deceased waived the autopsy.

According to the BFP, the first alarm was declared at 3:58 p.m. and was raised to the second alarm at 4:09 p.m.

The fire escalated to a third alarm at 4:13 p.m. and reached fourth and fifth alarms at 6:11 p.m.

The BFP said the fire reached Task Force Alpha at 8:22 p.m. and was placed under control at 8:29 p.m.

The fire was extinguished at 9:22 p.m.

Based on the initial investigation conducted by the BFP National Capital Region (NCR), the fire started at the house of Leticia Tagle on Cadorniga St. at around 3:00 p.m.

BFP said the fire quickly spread because the houses were made of lightweight materials.

It added that the water interruption and windy weather made it difficult for the firefighters to extinguish the flames immediately.

The Navotas DRRMO said around 300 houses were burned in the two barangays.

There were 143 families who temporarily sheltered in the community isolation facility located in Navotas C4.

Meanwhile, Navotas City Mayor John Rey Tiangco visited the fire victims to distribute hot meals, hygiene kits, mats, and blankets.

The city DRRMO also said there were possibilities that an electrical fault or an unattended candle triggered the fire.

The investigation still has no official results and the estimated damage to property is still being determined by authorities, the BFP said.