MANILA -- Sky lanterns lit by some residents of Barangay Bungad in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City may have caused the fire that killed seven people early morning Tuesday, authorities said.
Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region (BFP-NCR) Director General Santiago Laguna said Barangay Chairman Ricardo Corpuz reported to him the statement of a certain Victor Patileros, who lives near Dr. Carlo Filemor's house where the blaze started.
Filemor and six members of his household died in the fire.
The other fatalities were identified as Corina Filemor, Eva Filemor, Carlo Filemor, Matthew Aaron Filemor, Miguel Andrei Filemor and house helper only known as Marina.
Patileros reportedly told Corpuz that he saw a certain Rick Tadique, along with other men, lighting sky lanterns at around 4:30 a.m., less than an hour before the fire razed the Filemor family's house at 5:27 a.m.
Patileros said Tadique was still forcing the sky lanterns to fly up the sky even if the flames were already big.
Arson investigators, meanwhile, found burnt parts of the sky lanterns in a nearby factory building.
Authorities now suspect that some parts of the sky lanterns could have fallen into the house of Filemor, triggering the fire.
Tadique is now being interrogated by authorities. -- Report from Dennis Datu, dzMM