MANILA, Philippines – A fire that gutted an abandoned building in Delpan, Binondo in Manila on Saturday claimed the lives of a mother and her three children.
The mother, 40-year-old Mary Grace Sundiya, and her children, five-year-old Herardo Jr., three-year-old Gerald Mark, and one-year-old Geralyn, were trapped inside the structure when the fire broke out.
Mary Grace’s husband, Herardo Sundiya Sr., was beside himself with grief.
In an interview over radio DZMM on Sunday, Sundiya said: “Hindi ko alam kung papano ako mag-uumpisa. Hindi ko alam kung paano mabuhay pa ngayon, wala na akong katuwang (I do not know how to begin again. I do not know how I will survive this, I have no one left.)”
Authorities say that the fire was possibly caused by a lit candle which had been left unattended. Firemen battled that blaze – which started at 10 p.m. on Saturday – for 3 hours, successfully extinguishing it at 1 a.m. of Sunday.
A boy who was injured in the fire was rushed to hospital, where he was successfully treated.
Roughly 60 homes were consumed, with 100 families displaced by the blaze. According to the Bureau of Fire Protection, the estimated cost of to property was around P500,000.