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Sto. Nino Church fire / philippineslifestyle

Fire hits Pandacan Church 

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Authorities are investigating whether the 400-year-old image of Sto. Niño at the Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish in Pandacan, Manila was stolen or consumed by fire after the church went ablaze on Friday.

According to a "24 Oras" report, the fire reached the third alarm at past 1 p.m.

After authorities made their way inside the burning structure, cops, firefighters and some residents assisted in retrieving the Nazarene image which was also consumed by fire.

It seemed as if the Nazarene's skin was peeled off after it caught fire, while the inside of the parish was completely engulfed.

The altar collapsed, no pews were left, and images of saints also got burned.

Authorities said the fire started at the back portion of the second floor of the church.

A baptism was even held at 11 a.m. before the incident.

The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) have yet to determine the exact cause of the fire, which may have started due to electrical wiring or an appliance that was left behind.

The parish staff were allegedly on a break while the priest was outside before the incident happened. 

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