SOME 20 Thomasian students lost their belongings when fire razed a two-storey apartment at the corner of Antonio and Dapitan streets in the morning of December 5, authorities said.

The Bureau of Fire Protection said the fire, which started at 4:55 a.m., reached the fifth alarm, damaging P2 million worth of assets.

Manila Fire Department officer Felixberto Abrenica said fire easily spread because the structure was made of light materials.

“Mabuti at gising na ang mga tao kasi mag-uumaga na nu’ng mangyari ang sunog,” Abrenica said.

One of the victims was Faculty of Arts and Letters Student Council President Vincent Cifra, who lost important documents of the council along with P20,000 worth of belongings.

The loss of the documents, according to Cifra, might delay pending projects of the student council.

“It’s one semester worth of paperwork,” Cifra said. “I cannot promise that our council’s projects will not be delayed because paperworks are vital in any [student] government … but we will give all our [council] powers to go back on track.”

Aside from the student council’s files, payments for class pictures were also destroyed by the fire.

Cifra, though, was able to save his laptop containing the draft of his thesis.

“When we woke up, the whole neighborhood was already flaming and the area was very hot,” he said. “We all rushed downstairs, leaving our cellphones, books, even slippers, but we went back to get our laptops.”

The Manila Fire Department declared the fire out at 6:49 a.m. The cause of fire is still being investigated. The department said no injuries or fatalities were recorded. with reports from Cliff Harvey C. Venzon

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The Philippines is notorious for unsafe housing. Why doesn’t the University require inspection of any off-campus housing, and REQUIRE that Landlords upgrade unit safety or FORBID students to stay there – at risk of expulsion?

    The profiteering Landlord *could* have been responsible for 20 DEATHS, with the University culpable.

    Where is the leadership?

  2. Fire safety inspection is the job of the local fire bureau people. Sadly, these guys, along with other local city and town officials, are not doing their job well. They’d rather do fire-fighting than fire-preventing.

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