Three children killed in raging house fire in Manila

Three children have died in a fire that tore through a residential area in the Philippines shortly before midnight on Wednesday (September 7). The youngsters - two siblings aged five and seven, and their cousin, 11 - were sleeping with their grandmother, Theresa Ragindin, in the third storey of their house when the fire broke out in the Obrero area of Quezon City in Metro Manila at 11:57 pm local time. Theresa said she was awoken by the heat and rushed to the children's room to retrieve them, but in her panic, she slipped and fell down a flight of stairs to the ground floor. She said: "I don't know what happened next because the men pulled me out of the house when I tried to climb back up". Worried relatives sat helplessly on the pavement as firefighters tried to bring the flames under control. However, their hopes were dashed after officers informed them that the burnt remains of two of the kids had been pulled out from the wreckage. Fire Senior Inspector Jose Felipe Arreza said: 'We found at the fire scene, near the stairs of the house, two bodies that were charred beyond recognition. They are still subject to confirmation by the family.' The Bureau of Fire Protection said the inferno was extinguished at 3:12 am, adding it had destroyed 27 houses along the street with 81 families affected. The cause of the fire, which reportedly originated in the second storey of the house, is still under investigation. Firemen finally found the last victim at around 5 am. Relatives have identified the body as 11-year-old Ezail Ragindin. An estimated 135,000 PHP (2,360 USD) worth of property damage was caused by the incident. Affected residents are currently staying at a school turned relief centre while awaiting aid.