MANILASix persons, including a five-month-old baby, died and an undetermined amount of property went up in smoke in a 90-minute fire that destroyed several stores at the Shop and Ride commercial complex along Gen. Luis St. in Barangay Novaliches Proper, Quezon City shortly after Friday midnight.
Senior Police Officer 2 Carmelo Duran, leader of the police team from the Novaliches Police Station 4 that rushed to the scene, said the fire broke out at 12:24 a.m. in a barbershop on the first floor of the establishment.
The victims were trapped while they were sleeping in their rented stall.
Five of the fatalities were identified by investigators as Kamal Direpusun, 40; Norjanna Jappan, 34; Aboulrostem Jappan, 9, student; Salma Direpusun, 7, student; and Aboul Raman, 5 months old.
The sixth victim, an adult male, was not immediately identified.
Police said the fire of still unknown origin was put under control at 1:49 a.m. by firefighters of the Novaliches Fire Station, Quezon City Fire Department and nearby areas, aided partially by heavy rains brought by Typhoon Ompong, which was then lashing a wide area of northern and central Luzon, including parts of Metro Manila.
The amount of damage was still being determined by Arson Investigator/Fire Insp. Rosendo Cabillan of the QCFD as of this writing, according to SPO3 Jose Valerio, morning desk officer at the Novaliches Police Station 4.
Most of the burned business establishments were dealing in communications equipment, such as cellular phones and accessories, watches, television sets and radios, new and used clothes, shoes, fruits, and other goods.
The fire narrowly spared a restaurant owned by a daughter of Quezon City 5th District Councilor Jose A. Visaya and Novaliches Proper Barangay Chairwoman Asuncion M. Visaya. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency