HTI fire victim dies due to severe burns at hospital

GENERAL TRIAS CITY, Cavite — One of the victims in the fire tragedy that struck the House Technologies (HTI) succumbed due to severe burns on Saturday evening after confinement for three days at Divine Grace Hospital in Bacao 2, in this city.

In a text message, Cavite Go. Jesus Crispin Remulla said 37-year-old Jerome De Guia Sismael expired around 10:25 p.m. Saturday, citing report from attending physician Dr. Leonard Lao.

Sismael, from Maragondon, Cavite worked as line leader of the HTI firm and was regarded a hero by his colleagues for assisting in the evacuation of his co-workers to safer grounds, thus incurring severe and fatal burns throughout his body.

Remulla said Sismael was one of the three burn victims who were in critical condition with a 10 to 20 percent survival while hospitalized for sustaining severe burns.

According to Remulla, the HTI line leader was one of those hit by the ball of fire from the explosion triggered by an industrial machine malfunction.

One of the survivors’ accounts revealed that Sismael assisted other workers first, propping up victims who were slumped from the burning floor to their exit up to the ambulance.

As he was trying to save more from the burning building, he suddenly was engulfed by the fire and collapsed at the ground floor when the blaze spread quickly and out of control, razing the entire building floors.

Sustaining burns all over his body, Sismael was rescued by emergency responders and was brought to the Divine Grace Hospital as attending doctors placed him in critical condition with slim chances for survival.

Around 22 burn patients, two of them still in critical condition are still confined at the Divine Grace Hospital while 13 are confined at the General Trias Hospital.

Both management officials of the hospital did not issue any medical bulletin or updates on the status of the fire victims.

Jerome’s remains lie at the family’s residence in Maragondon, Cavite. Rogelio Limpin/PNA-northboundasia.com