Fire kills 15 in Philippines

  Nine of the victims were nursing students who were in the town to take a licensing exam.
Some firefighters were moved to tears after finding the badly burned bodies in the upper floors of the five-story hotel and offered prayers before retrieving the remains, fire investigator Daniel Abana said. The fire raged for eight hours and gutted the Bed and Breakfast Pension House in Cagayan province’s capital of Tuguegarao city.

Relatives grieved at a morgue where remains of victims, 14 burned beyond recognition, were brought. Some fainted as body bags were brought into a funeral parlour. The fire started on the ground floor, apparently fuelled by car tires and other combustible materials stored in an automobile parts store.

Dozens of guests, roused by the commotion, were rescued by firefighters and police out of the still-smoldering building through the main gate and fire escapes. Some managed to escape on their own but others may have panicked and got trapped by the flames, Cagayan police chief Mao Aplasca said.

The dead included nine nursing students. The rest were members of the family that owned the hotel, Aplasca said.

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