SIX persons, including a minor were killed in a fire that hit the Java Pension House in Gonzaga-Locsin Streets, Bacolod City on Tuesday morning, November 26.
The fatalities were identified as Christopher Java, the owner of the pension house; Miguel, Java’s 12-year-old son; Magdalena, Java’s mother; and Analyn Dacallo, Miguel’s nanny.
Two other fatalities are still unidentified, while four other persons, including an Australian national, were injured and brought to a hospital.
City Fire Marshal Publio Plotena said they responded to a call around 4:37 a.m. that the Java Pension House, a former Bascon Hotel, was on fire.
He said the fire that reached the highest alarm started at the ground floor and destroyed the five-story building.
One of the unidentified fatalities was found along the counter of the pension house, while the other one was found in the roofdeck.
Plotena said the pension house owner and his family members were trapped in their rooms at the second floor and might have died due to suffocation.
He said they are still conducting further investigation to determine the cause of fire as they cannot yet determine the total number of guests of the pension house during the incident.
Some witnesses, who refused to be named, said that before the incident, three unidentified men were seen along the ground floor of the pension house. One of them took a helmet and burned it in the area.
“It’s only an allegation and we will conduct a thorough investigation on that claim. But for now, we cannot conclude yet the cause of fire,” Plotena said.
He said they will check the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in the area.
Plotena added the blaze, which damaged about P8 million in properties, was put out around 9:20 a.m.
The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) will also check the fire safety compliance of the pension house including its business permit.