5 hurt in Tondo fire

Posted at 08/22/12 3:09 PM

Photo by Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – At least five people sustained minor injuries in a fire that hit a residential area in Tondo, Manila before noon Wednesday.

A nearby four-storey building was also engulfed by the fire that started at around 11:30 a.m.

Firefighters said they had a difficult time putting out the fire because they could not gain access to the building.

They also said they had problems due to the strong winds.

“Malakas kasi ‘yung hangin kanina kaya medyo lumakas ‘yung apoy natin,” said Chief Insp. Arvin Afalla of the Manila Fire District.

The fire was declared under control at around 5 p.m.

A portion of the building's wall gave way because of the massive fire, prompting authorities to investigate the building’s construction.

“Nakita naman natin na ‘yung firewall niya medyo hindi maganda ang pagkakagawa. Iimbestigahan natin,” said Afalla.

A barangay official said the fire may have started in her home, which was hit by chest-deep floods in the recent “habagat” rains.

She said the floods may have caused problems in the electrical wiring.

Around 20 families lost their homes in the fire. Authorities estimate the damage to cost P2 million.

Fire officials have yet to determine the cause of the blaze. -- Report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News