A FOUR-YEAR-OLD girl died in a fire that hit Little Village, Barangay Basak in Lapu-Lapu City Monday, August 23, 2021.
The fatality was identified as Candice Pailden, who was reportedly trapped inside the house when the fire broke out.
Fire Officer 2 Jeffrey Gerodias, investigator of the Lapu-Lapu City Fire District, said based on their investigation, the mother of the victim, Malou, was sleeping inside their bedroom on the second floor of the house when the fire woke her up.
She then saw their bed already burning and Candice playing with matchsticks.
Malou took her one-year-old child and rushed outside the house, but when she came back to save Candice, she could no longer reach her as the house was already engulfed in flames.
Malou sustained first- and second-degree burns and was rushed to a hospital for treatment.
The father, a tricycle driver, was outside working when the fire broke out.
Gerodias said the fire, which was raised under first alarm, destroyed around P430,000 worth of properties.
Aside from Pailden’s house, three other houses were destroyed by the fire as well.
Firefighters were able to respond to the fire at around 12:40 p.m. and were able to totally douse it by 1:07 p.m.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan assured the victim’s family that the City will shoulder the burial expenses and they will receive meals and financial assistance.
Annabeth Cuizon, head of the Lapu-Lapu City Social Welfare Development Office, said that owners of houses that were destroyed by the fire will receive P15,000 from the City and another P10,000 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Central Visayas, while those whose houses were damaged will get P5,000 each.
Chan advised the public, especially those with small children, to always keep an eye on their children to avoid fire incidents. (GCM / LMY)