Firefighter cries while battling Malate fire as one of burning houses turned out to be his


A fire volunteer was seen crying while battling a fire that hit a residential area in Malate, Manila on Tuesday, May 7, and which rendered 50 families homeless. The reason? One of the burning houses turned out to be his.

People saw John Justin Gagarin, a fire volunteer of the Leveriza-Malate Fire and Rescue, with tears and sweat streaming down his face, as he trained his water hose on the burning houses even when his own house was also being engulfed by the fire.

Affected residents living on Benitez and San Andres Streets in Malate took to social media to ask for donations, such as old clothes and blankets. 


Firefighters extinguish a fire that hit a residential area along San Andres corner Benitez Street in Manila on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (Photos from Noel B. Pabalate/MANILA BULLETIN)


The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the fire started from a two-story house made of light materials at around 10:17 a.m. 

The fire was immediately raised to the first alarm at 10:35 a.m. and to the second alarm at 10:36 a.m.

Firefighters were able to put the fire under control at 11:47 a.m. and extinguished it at 12:34 p.m. 

As of this writing, authorities have not reported any injuries as a result of the fire. 

Arson investigators are still determining the amount of damage to property and the cause of the fire.