Fire hits a residential area in Mandaluyong

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A photo of the fire posted on Twitter

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After more than two hours, the fire that hit the Welfareville Compound in Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong on Wednesday (November 25) reached general alarm, the highest alarm level.

The alarm was raised at 4:30 p.m., 10 minutes after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced on Twitter that the fire level was at Task Force Delta.

 

Under general alarm, all available firefighters in Metro Manila are deployed to put out the fire, while ground command is headed by the regional director of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).

The blaze destroyed around 800 houses, spanning four blocks in the area — Blocks 22, 23, 24, and 32. Thousands of families were left homeless and were brought to evacuation centers in Mandaluyong Gym, Addition Hills Integrated School, and Hardin ng Pag-asa Park.

Air Force asked for help

BFP officials said that an electrical short circuit caused the fire, which started past 2:00 p.m.

By 2:34 p.m., the MMDA announced that the fire was raised to fifth alarm.

The fire quickly spread as most houses in the area were made up of light materials. The BFP also had difficulty containing the fire as the area was too narrow.

With the nearest fire hydrant about 500 meters away, residents helped firefighters refill their tanks.

A chopper of the Philippine Air Force also aided firefighters on the request of Mandaluyong City Hall.

The fire was declared under control by 6:13 p.m.

P6 million in damage

The fire caused an estimated damage of P6 million, according to the BFP.

A residential care facility of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for orphaned or abused children behind the Welfareville Compound was spared by the fire due to a firewall.

More than a hundred children housed in the facility are now safe. Two children, however, were rushed to the hospital due to asthma.

CNN Phillippines' Yumi Lugod and Eimor Santos contributed to this report.