Fire in a Garment Printing Shop Kills at Least 15 in the Philippines


A fire in a house that was being used as a T-shirt printing shop in the Philippines killed at least 15 people on Thursday, including its workers, the business owner and his family members, officials said.

The fire broke out at 5:45 a.m. in a house in the district of Tandang Sora in Quezon City, a densely populated suburb northwest of the capital, Manila, a police report said.

When the fire alarm was triggered, 37 fire engines were sent to the site of the blaze, according to the police report from the Quezon City Police District. The fire was extinguished two hours later, it said.

Among the dead were workers at the shop, including quality checkers, printing staff and a driver, many of whom lived in the house and were in their 20s, the police said. The business owner, Michael Cavilte, was 44.

Two people were injured but survived, the police said: a worker and Erick John Cavilte, 25, the owner’s son. The son’s wife and their 3-year-old daughter, however, died.

The blaze broke out in the middle of the building, and it spread quickly, making escape difficult, said Marcelo Ragundiaz, the fire brigade chief in Tandang Sora.

The cause of the fire was being investigated. The authorities are also looking into any possible violations of the building code, fire code, occupancy permit and other regulations, according to Quezon City officials. It was unclear if Mr. Cavilte, the owner, had a permit to operate the business at the house, Chief Ragundiaz said.

Past deadly fires around Manila have raised questions about whether safety standards were being adhered to. A 2015 fire in a slipper factory in Valenzuela, a suburban city north of Manila, killed at least 72 people. A 2001 fire at a hotel in Quezon City killed at least 75.

The worst fire in the country’s recent history killed 162 people in a nightclub in Quezon City in 1996 — mostly students who were attending high school and college graduation parties.



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