Family of 3 dies in Olongapo fire
OLONGAPO CITY, Philippines – A couple and their 2-year-old son died when a fire gutted an automotive store building where they were staying here Wednesday morning, November 13.
Mariano and Aira Panganiban, and their son, Ricardo, were trapped in the fourth floor where they resided when a fire broke out in the ground floor about 5 am, said City Fire Marshall Chief Inspector Arvin Christian Santos. The blaze eventually reached the upper floors, added Santos.
He said the family probably died of smoke asphyxiation from the smoke.
The Panganibans had no chance of escaping when the flames got bigger as there was no fire exit in the fourth floor, which was surrounded by metal grills.
The firefighters had a hard time putting the fire out because the automotive fluids, rubber tires, and other flammable materials in the ground floor contributed to the strong flames.
The building itself also had narrow passageways that slowed down the movement of the firefighters.
The Bureau of Fire Protection estimated about 50M worth of property was destroyed in the blaze.
Olongapo Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr said "it is unfortunate that we lost 3 lives today because of the fire, but I would like to say thank you to all our responders for the fast response and to the residents who volunteered to help."