Quezon City

16 dead after fire razes shirt printing shop in Quezon City

James Patrick Cruz

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16 dead after fire razes shirt printing shop in Quezon City

Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office personnel carry bodybags containing the charred remains of victims of a fire that gutted an establishment in Pleasant View Subdivision in Barangay Tandang Sora, Quezon City on August 31, 2023. Sixteen people, mostly stay-in workers, perished.

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A Bureau of Fire Protection official says the house was a 'fire trap' and only had a barangay permit

MANILA, Philippines – Sixteen people died while three survived a fire that razed a t-shirt printing and manufacturing shop in a residential village in Barangay Tandang Sora, Quezon City on Thursday, August 31. 

16 dead after fire razes shirt printing shop in Quezon City

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) raised the first alarm at 5:44 am and declared fire out at 8:04 am. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Majority of the fatalities were stay-in workers. The owner of the house in Pleasant View Subdivision, a 3-year-old child, and the child’s parent also died.

According to one of the survivors, only one window could be used to get out of the house since its other windows on the second floor had grills.

BFP-National Captial Region Fire Chief Superintendent Nahum Tarroza said the house was a “fire trap” as it didn’t have enough exit points. He said chemicals used for t-shirt printing could have caused the fire to spread rapidly. 

Tarroza said the shop only had a barangay permit, which was secured just this August. It also did not have other necessary permits such as business permit and mayor’s permit.

In an interview with GMA News, Barangay Tandong Sora said that it issued a permit to the shop after it presented a letter of endorsement from the homeowners association.

However, some members of the association reportedly said that they only issued in 2022 an endorsement for a small office and retail business.

The shop has a pending application with the BFP. However, it is also only for a small office and not a t-shirt printing shop.

The Quezon City government said its Department of Building Official and Business Permit and Licensing Department are investigating if the shop had the necessary permits to operate.

“We want to assure the public, especially the families of the victims, that we will prioritize a thorough investigation to hold accountable the agencies or individuals who were negligent and contributed to this incident,” the city said.

Meanwhile, the city has extended its condolences to the families of the victims and said that it is already coordinating with them to provide assistance to the relatives of the victims. – with reports from Ben Nabong/Rappler.com

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