THREE children died in a fire that hit their house Thursday night in Sitio Aluyan, Barangay Caduhaan, Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.

Those who died were Princess Heart, 6; Jia Marie, 3; at Joshua, 1, children of Jella Pelayo and Kenneth Maquilan, both 30.

The victims’ parents left them at home to gather crabs and sea shells that they will cook for dinner.

Their other sibling, five-year-old Jillian, was spared since she was with her parents.

Maquilan, father of Joshua and stepfather of Princess and Gia, said in a radio interview they kept the fire going in the stove when they left because they were cooking rice.

About an hour after they left, they returned to their house and found it burned.

Based on investigation, a sack blown by the wind might have hit the stove and triggered the fire that spread in the Maquilan house that was made of nipa and bamboo.

About four months ago in Bacolod, three children were also killed when a fire razed their house in Purok Kawayanan, Barangay Handumanan.

The fatalities were identified as Erica Montero, 16, a deaf and mute, and her brothers Rex, 7, and Arvin, 3.

Their 68-year-old grandmother Estelita Montero sustained minor burns.

The children were left at home by their mother, who was selling vegetables at Libertad Market, and their father, who went to Bago City to buy vegetables.

It was also said that their grandmother left the food she was cooking, locked in their house with the children inside, and went outside.

When she came back, their house was already on fire. (NLG)