Toddler killed in Talisay fire-A A +A
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
CEBU CITY -- A fire within a community of woodcarvers of Santo Niño images in Talisay City led to the death of a three-year-old boy and destroyed five homes.
The lone fatality, Mark Lester Tisoy, was reportedly playing with his twin brother inside their house in Sitio Hawod, Barangay Bulacao when the fire broke out.
While his twin, Mark Anthony, escaped, Mark Lester didn’t make it outside before the flames fully cut off any means of escape.
Fire officials said that the blaze grew when it came in contact with chemicals such as paints and thinners, which are used when making wooden images. About P175,000 worth of properties were destroyed by the fire.
The fire reportedly started around 11 p.m. last Monday.
Just before the fire started, Mark Lester and his brother were playing inside the room of their adoptive mother, Rosila.
Investigators, quoting initial reports, said that the two boys were playing with candles, but some residents recalled they heard an explosion from one of the electrical sources inside the house.
While the two boys were inside their mother’s room, Rosila and her husband and the twins’ adoptive father, Eliseo Jr., were busy making statuettes of Santo Niño. They had a deadline to beat.
At one point, the two boys suddenly called for their mother’s help.
But while Mark Anthony quickly escaped toward his father’s side, the adults there still had to rescue Mark Lester, who was left inside the burning room.
SFO2 Cesar dela Cerna, the fire investigator, said the couple had thought that Mark Lester was rescued by another relative.
Firefighters led by Dela Cerna conducted a 10-minute firefight, and the blaze was raised to a second alarm.
By the time the fire had subsided, fire investigators found Mark Lester’s body in the burning ruins of his family’s house.
Eliseo Sr., the child’s grandfather, said that he and his family were shocked by the boy’s death. The boy’s twin brother has refused to leave his father’s side, Eliseo Sr. said.
The 70-year-old patriarch of the Tisoy family has been carving saints’ images since the 1970s. He had hoped that Mark Lester and his twin brother would one day inherit his craft.
Eliseo Sr. revealed that Mark Lester and his twin brother were the sons of Rosila’s sister Helen, who passed away after giving birth to the twins back in 2009.
Eliseo Sr. said that his late grandson was a very active and happy boy.
“Bisag dili nako siya kadugo, amo gyud silang gituring nga akong mga apo (Even though they were not of my blood, I thought of them as my grandsons),” Eliseo Sr. said.
Sometimes he questions whether he’s to blame for the incident, he said. Eliseo Sr. said he used to lead a life of crime before becoming a woodcarver.
“Dili man mi maldito. Mosimba man mi kada Domingo. Siguro gipahinumduman lang ko sa Ginoo (We are not a bad family. We always go to church every Sunday. Maybe God was just reminding us),” he said.
Mark Lester’s remains will be brought to the Tisoy family’s house before his burial. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 09, 2013.