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Man dies in QC hotel fire

One man died while several others were injured during a fire that gutted the 7th floor of the Great Eastern Hotel on Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, The fatality was named Rodolfo Veloria. He died at 9:50 p.m. while undergoing treatment at Capitol Medical Center. At least six people who suffered injuries while being rescued were taken to Quezon City hospitals.

Arnel Tugade, Juan Badocdoc and his son Jericho and a still unidentified victim who suffered broken bones are being treated at an undisclosed hospital. Three of those taken to the National Orthopedic Medical Center, also on Quezon Avenue, were named as Dindo Manasa, the hotel's laundry attendant; Mario Elpidio Raboyta of Ilocos Norte; and Juliana Gaeramon of Surigao del Sur.

Raboyta and Gaeramon were among provincial officials of the Department of Interior and Local Governent at the hotel for a meeting.

As of last report, flames have reached the building's 20th floor.

As of 9:30 p.m., the Office of the Civil Defense reported 20 casualties with minor injuries. Five of them were rushed to hospitals nearby.

OCD officials said they have yet to confirm if there are hotel guests trappsed inside the rooms. A report earlier said about 15-20 people with slight injuries have been rescued. Earlier reports stated that some employees and guests were trapped on the upper floors and have been advised to proceed to the roofdeck where a rescue helicopter is waiting for them. People were also seen waving for help with a white cloth from windows of the upper floors. The blaze started at 8 p.m. and reached the 5th alarm at 8:21 p.m. Firefighters said it has reached the Task Force Charlie as of posting time. Authorities, meanwhile, have closed the westbound stretch of Quezon Avenue to Araneta Avenue to traffic.

Quoting firefighters,minutes after the fire broke out said the blaze started from the hotel's storage room for toilet paper on the 7th floor.

Firefighters Say Hotel Water Sprinklers Failed
: 07/05/2007
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 system worked.

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 working.

Hotel fire slows traffic downtown
By Seattle Times staff

A reported fire at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers has created a traffic mess downtown this evening.

Firefighters were called to the hotel at 1400 6th Avenue at about 4:45 p.m. for the report of an insulation fire on the roof, said Seattle fire Lt. Sue Stangl.

The fire didn't appear to be serious, she said, but firefighters are still on scene and streets around the building are closed.

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