Fire investigators on site. Photo by Armand Galang
CABANATUAN CITY – A baby girl, aged 1 year and seven months, died in a 50-minute fire that razed two residential houses in Barangay San Josef Norte here at about 12:34 a.m. on Dec. 28, Holy Innocents’ Day.
Senior Fire Officer 2 Walter Enriquez, chief investigator, identified the fatality as Carla Entac.
The girl was left under the watch of a 13-year-old sibling while their parents were away when the fire occurred, he said.
The fire that reached only first alarm was declared under fire out at about 1:20 a.m.
The single and a two-storey twin houses owned by William Entac and Emily Jacob situated at a heavily populated space along a creek, were made of light materials, investigators said.
The sibling, Enriquez said, sought help but to no avail: “Siya po ay nataranta at tumakbo para hanapin yung kanilang magulang. Para humingi po ng tulong subalit sa pagbalik po ay malaki na po yung sunog.”
Marites Bondoc, a neighbor, said the victim’s parents went out to buy coffee and diaper after attending a wake nearby.
“Nagulat nga lang po kami na yung bata saka yung kapitbahay namin ay nanghihingi ng tulong na ‘sunog, sunog’,” Bondoc said.
Investigation further showed the girl apparently tried to crawl out of the house based on the position of the burnt body that was found near the stairs.
Investigators extracted samples for examination to determine the cause of fire.