Police investigating the death of 16 holidaymakers following a fire at a budget hotel in the northern Philippines have suggested arson could have been responsible.
Following the blaze earlier this week, acting city fire marshal superintendent Jesus Fernandez confirmed arson was one of the possible motives for the fire which engulfed the Bed & Breakfast Pension House on December 19th.
Investigators from the justice department located oil residues from the first and second floors of the building, suggesting arson.
Some 15 residents are thought to have died in the blaze.
A 16th - a nursing graduate, who died yesterday - was the 10th fatality among a group who checked into the Bed & Breakfast hotel in Tuguegarao city ahead of professional licensing exams, said city police chief Superintendent Pedro Martirez.
The six others who died included a family who owned a motorcycle parts store beside the hotel.
Eleven other people were injured, while 19 guests and staff were rescued unharmed.
Interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo has since fired the fire marshal for Tuguegarao in Cagayan province.
Robredo said chief inspector Neil Caranguinan had been relieved of duties pending an investigation into his possible liability for the tragedy.