A COUPLE and their son died after they were trapped in the structure they occupied when a fire broke out past 4:10 a.m. Thursday, October 5, in Tipolo Village, Mandaue City.
The bodies of Antonio Paz, 34; Maricel, 32; and Anceljay, 10, were found after firefighters put out the blaze a few minutes after the Mandaue City Fire Station (MCFS) received the alarm.
MCFS got a call at 4:10 a.m. that a bunkhouse at the back of Melgo General Sales Inc. (MGSI) building on Hernan Cortes St. was on fire.
SFO3 Arnold Lao, chief for operations of MCFS, said that only the two-story bunkhouse, which was made of light materials, was affected.
Firefighters were able to control the fire two minutes after they arrived, or at 4:30 a.m.
Lao said the estimated cost of damage was around P20,000.
“Probably the family was trapped because the bunkhouse interior was really narrow,” Lao said in Cebuano.
The bunkhouse had a floor area of 19.17 square meters, according to the data of MCFS.
Elvin Eran, 42, head of operations of MGSI, said he and his wife Nela woke up to their dogs barking.
They lived a few meters from where the Paz family was staying.
Eran and Nela called out the names of the couple when they saw the burning bunkhouse, but no one responded.
They thought the family jumped out of the window and entered the next establishment.
Elvin, who was a friend of Antonio, said Antonio had asked the company owner if he could build a structure where his family could stay at the back of the MGSI building. The owner agreed.
Elvin said Antonio was a truck boy and had been working in the company for about 13 years.
“The fire was not that big, but it was still tragic because a family died,” he said in Cebuano.
Elvin said their company is helping the victims' family with the burial.
Mayor Luigi Quisumbing said the City Government will shoulder the cost of transporting the remains to Negros Occidental, where the family was originally from.
He said the City will also provide financial aid to the couple's family.
Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.