At 0300 hrs today, Dryden's Restaurant/Hotel burned down. It was suspected the cause was electrical. Six foreigners were killed while in their rooms, two Americans, one Englishman, 2 Koreans and am not sure of the 6th victim.
What saddens me is that the Englishman was named Mallie and I had just met him three weeks ago. He was an avid dart player, very nice guy, who was enjoying his holiday here in Angeles City. He Played with my dart team on two successive Thursdays and was supposed to play with us again last night but he had gone to Subic for a week to check out that area. He had planned to come down to play last night but decided, at the last minute, to enjoy his remaining two days of holiday at the Barrio. That decision cost him his life. I, and my fellow dart players were deeply saddened to learn of his death and the loss of a new friend.
The Dryden is owned by Dave Fisher, formerly a well known Club owner here in Angeles City. Fortunately, no harm came to Dave and he is working closely with the Fire Department investigators, the Police and the Mayor. Rumors have already begun to circulate but as of this time no file code violations were reported and no legal actions against Dave have been reported. It was a tragic accident and Dave is deeply saddened by this event.
Mallie was a great guy and I feel so very sad that a budding friendship had to end under such circumstances. Mally's mother and sister live in Boscombe near Bournemouth, England. My condolences to his family.
I am sure that more specific details will come out in various newspapers in the next day or two.
I am starting to read conflicting stories on this story. So far, "Mallie" whose real name is Malcolm has not been identified as a victim. I can only hope that he was not in his room at the time or was staying at a different hotel. I am still waiting for more details from Mo.
This is what was written in one paper:
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.
I JUST RECEIVED CONFIRMATION. REGRETFULLY, MALCOLM (MALLIE) CURTIS DID DIE IN THAT FIRE ALONG WITH THE GUEST HE HAD WITH HIM. I WAS HOPING I WOULD NOT HAVE TO WRITE THIS. I ONLY KNEW HIM FOR THREE WEEKS BUT HE FIT IN QUICKLY WITH OUR DART TEAM AND HE WILL BE MISSED.
LIFE IS DEFINITELY TOO SHORT BUT SOMETIMES FATE STEPS IN. MALCOLM HAD TWO DECISIONS TO MAKE, STAY IN SUBIC AN EXTRA NIGHT OR TWO OR COME TO ANGELES CITY TO PLAY DARTS. IN THIS CASE HE MADE THE WRONG DECISION BUT HOW WAS HE OR ANYONE ELSE TO KNOW THIS. THIS IS WHY EACH DAY THAT I WAKE UP, I THANK GOD THAT I WAS ALLOWED TO WAKE UP. I AM ALSO GLAD THAT I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY, THOUGH BRIEFLY, TO KNOW A FINE PERSON LIKE MALCOLM CURTIS.
This is part of a message from Dave Fisher: There were 6, 7 or 8 deaths. We had two separate counting groups, so I still am not sure. All but one person died in their room - most likely from smoke inhalation. There were 2 or 3 Filipinas and the remaining foreigners. We believe there were 3 Americans, 1 Korean and one Englishman. We were told there was one girl in the room and one in the stairwell. About an hour ago, we were looking around the hotel and spotted another body of a girl huddled in the space under the desk. I am not sure if the fire inspectors missed her or forgot about her - thus the confusion. It's a sight that will haunt me for a long time; probably the rest of my life. (That has to be one terrible, emotion draining moment. I also would never be able to forget such a scene)