GENERAL TRIAS, Cavite -- (UPDATED) A man who helped rescue his fellow workers when a massive fire broke out in a factory inside the Cavite Economic Zone here has passed away, authorities confirmed Sunday.
Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin Remulla identified the victim as Jerome Sismaet, a line leader at the House Technologies Inc. (HTI) factory and the first fatality in the fire.
Sismaet was among the workers confined at the Divine Grace Hospital. He succumbed to severe burn injuries around 11 p.m. Saturday, Remulla said.
Charito Plaza, director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, lauded Sismaet as a hero for staying behind to let his subordinates escape from the burning factory first.
"He is a hero, being one of the line leaders na tinulungan munang maka-evacuate ang mga kasama niya bago siya lumabas," she said.
HTI employees were preparing for the night shift at 6 p.m. Wednesday when the fire started in one of its insulation rooms. The blaze was declared fire out after 70 hours, at around 4 p.m. Saturday.
The fire caused damage worth at least P15 billion and left over 100 workers wounded.
HTI has promised to foot the medical bills and funeral expenses of all affected employees, Plaza said.
She added that firm representatives are set to hold an assessment meeting with authorities on Monday. -- With a report from Ron Lopez, DZMM