Couple dies in fire; victims’ kin suspects foul play

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


A COUPLE died in a fire that razed their house at Purok-9 in Barangay Tablon at 5 p.m. on March 30.

The victims are Rico Jacutin, 65, and wife Alejandra, 67.

Elmer Salarda, the Jacutin’s caretaker of the 10-hectare property, said he was watching television in his house when he heard an explosion. He lives nearby the victims’ house.

Salarda said he saw Rico crawling by the door and told the former that Rico’s wife was still in the kitchen. However, Salarda saved Rico first who, he said, smelled of liquor.

Rico was holding his cellphone when neighbors came to assist Salarda. Then, he asked for water. The neighbors contacted Rico’s child who arrived and still saw his father alive.

Rico was rushed to a nearby private hospital but died soon after.

Jacutin’s family has requested for an autopsy of the bodies after there were bruises found on Rico’s body.

Salarda denied any involvement considering that he even tried to save the couple. He believes that Rico had been hit by the tanks that exploded.

At Tablon fire substation, SPO3 Jeffrey Canisala said Salarda provided a statement that he had been the first to arrive to the Jacutins’ aid during the fire.

He also narrated that he even sent his son to inform Jacutins’ child since the latter wasn’t responding to the text message sent.

The firemen used six hoses since their fire trucks could not get into the road leading to Jacutin’s residence.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 02, 2014.

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