At least 18 persons, all of them believed to be sales ladies, were killed in a fire that gutted a garments store in this city early Wednesday morning.
The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, at the second floor of the Novo Jeans and Shirts Enterprise along JC Aquino-Montilla Boulevard,in the three-storey shop in Butuan on the southern island of Mindanao.
Reports also revealed that of the 21 all-female stay-in personnel and sales ladies of NOVO store, three survived the incident; they jumped to the second floor of the building as the fire raged.
Fifteen fire trucks from neighboring cities and provinces and fire fighters from a Butuan City Mall also arrived and fire was declared out at 6: 35 a.m. of that same day.
Shocked and crying relatives and friends,, gathered in search of loved ones in front of the building, where police stood before body bags with the victims' remains.