published Friday, January 11th, 2013

3 U.S. men, South Korean among 7 dead in Philippine fire

Funeral workers carry the body of a victim Friday following a fire that razed a small two-storey hotel at Olongapo city, a former U.S. naval base, west of Manila, Philippines. The fire swept through the hotel in a Philippine resort city early Friday, killing seven people, including three Americans, three Filipinos and a South Korean, authorities said.
Funeral workers carry the body of a victim Friday following a fire that razed a small two-storey hotel at Olongapo city, a former U.S. naval base, west of Manila, Philippines. The fire swept through the hotel in a Philippine resort city early Friday, killing seven people, including three Americans, three Filipinos and a South Korean, authorities said.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

MANILA, Philippines — A fire swept through a hotel in a Philippine resort city early Friday, killing seven people, including three Americans, three Filipinos and a South Korean, authorities said.

The three American men and the South Korean man were found dead in separate rooms in the Dryden Hotel, a small two-story tourist hotel in Olongapo city, a former U.S. naval base west of the capital, Manila, said police Senior Inspector Gil Arizo Domingo. The bodies of three Filipino women were found in separate parts of the hotel, he said.

Adjacent bars and another hotel were not affected by the three-hour blaze, which started at around 3 a.m., Domingo said.

The building’s facade and ground floor are made of concrete, but the second floor is largely wooden. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Domingo identified one of the Americans as James Brigati of Kodiak, Alaska. The two others were identified as Patrick Burt and Joseph Valuso, whose hometowns were not immediately available. The South Korean man was identified as Kyung Ook-kim of Suwan City.

The victims’ ages were not immediately available.

Olongapo, which is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Manila, is a popular beach destination, especially among American visitors, many of whom are former service members who were deployed there when the coastal city hosted one of the largest U.S. bases overseas. The base closed in 1991.

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