AN UNATTENDED lighted cigarette caused a fire at a two-storey residential building in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City Monday night, which left two dead, including a 12-year-old who was working as an errand boy in the said residence.

Bacolod City Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) deputy fire marshal Insp. Publio Plotena identified the fatalities as Philip Martinez, alias "Snook", 36 and Adrian Morin, alias "Amay", 12, both residents of Purok Mainuswagon in Sawmill 1, Barangay Bata.

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Plotena said that, at about 11:41 p.m., the BFP received a call from a certain "Mira Villaluz" informing them that the residence of Lexlie Silma in Purok Mainuswagon was on fire.

Six fire trucks were immediately dispatched to the area and the fire fighters were able to put out the blaze at about 12:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Arson investigator Harry Fernandez said his initial investigation showed that the fire originated from the room occupied by the victims at the northwestern portion at the second floor of the building.

The fire left P300,000 in damage to properties but did not easily spread to the annex portion of the building because of a firewall, Fernandez said.

He added that Silma, the second cousin of Martinez, told them that the victim had a drink with his younger brother Borge Martinez and Smile Gozon several hours before the fire occurred.

Fernandez theorized that the elder Martinez lighted a cigarette and had fallen asleep, leaving the lighted cigarette unattended.

Wilma Morin, Adrian's mother, said that she last saw her son on Monday noon when he gave her money to buy a t-shirt for a school activity. She said that her son Adrian is a Grade 5 pupil at the Bata Elementary school and is working as an errand boy for Silma.

Meanwhile, Plotena cautioned the public to check their electrical installations and liquefied petroleum gas tanks to avoid accidental. He emphasized that cigarette butts should be properly and safely disposed of.