Say Hotel Water Sprinklers Failed
MANILA.- Quezon City fire fighters on late Thursday
said the water sprinkler system of the Great Eastern
Hotel on Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, appeared to have
malfunctioned when fire broke out on the seventh floor,
GMA News’ Saksi reported early Friday morning.
They said the fire that spread toward the eighth
floor could have been contained early had the sprinkler
Firemen also noted that before they battled the flames,
the two floors were dry.
But the hotel owner, Ricardo Ng, said the hotel’s
water system is working properly, saying sprinklers
on floors not affected by the blaze will not activate.
“There’s no fire here…that’s
why the sprinklers did not activate," Ng told
GMA News in an interview while inside a room that
was not hit by the fire.
The same report said firemen were able to put out
the blaze around 11:50 pm, nearly three hours after
the fire was tapped in.
A provincial director of the Department of the Interior
and Local Government was the lone fatality in the
fire that also injured 30 people.
Senior Supt. Elmo San Diego of the Quezon City Police
District identified the fatality as Rodolfo Viloria
of the DILG Ilocos Sur provincial office.
Viloria reportedly sustained bone injuries after
jumping from the eighth floor of the building.
The report said most of the injured guests were occupants
of the eighth floor where they jumped when the fire
started early in the night.
The fire reached Task Force Charlie as of 10 p.m.
Thursday. QTV-11 television reported that many of
those who were injured suffered cuts after breaking
glass windows to get to safety.
Many guests were forced to go up to the hotel's rooftop
and await rescue there because of the thick smoke.
At least one female guest was reported to have suffocated
and was rushed to the Capitol Medical Center. Rescuers
still could not give an estimate on how many guests
were in the hotel as rescue operations were still
ongoing as of 10 p.m.
"Yung isang guest tumalon mula sa 12th or 14th
floor. Sinalo ko sa 9th floor (One of the guests jumped
from the 12th or 14th floor. It was lucky I caught
the guest at the 9th floor)," said a hotel supervisor
initially identified as Clifford Bangan.
Bangan said the hotel has 20 floors. The sixth and
seventh floors appeared to be affected most in the
fire, he said.
He also insisted the fire exits in the hotel are