Other Event Detail

Fireworks Store Fire
Ormoc City, philippines

December 25, 2006

A fire at the Unitop General Merchandise store in Ormoc City, Phillipenes, on Christmas Day, 2006, killed 26 people. The fire started at 4:40 p.m. when a boy allegedly lit a firecracker that ignited the other firecrackers sold at the department stores entrance. The pyrotechnics sent a shower of sparks and flames up to the store's ceiling. From there, the blaze spread to plastic wares and DVD materials on display. The fire spread quickly, trapping shoppers inside. Only one glass door was open at the time and thick smoke prevented the shoppers from seeing it. Some managed to run out. But the others scrambled toward the back of the supermarket and rushed inside its two bathrooms, where most of the charred bodies were discovered later. The single-level store's only fire exit at the back of the store was padlocked. A firefighter forced it open to allow some survivors out. One young woman saved herself by climbing up to the roof of a three-story building beside the supermarket, then making her way down that building's fire exit, while the crowd below cheered her on. The fire, which was a general alarm or the most serious of four alarm levels, was placed under control at 7:30 p.m. Twenty-three bodies were found in the bathrooms. Three other people died later from their injuries. Those killed included customers, vendors, and store employees. The victims included a baby, two children, and a pregnant woman.

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