Tacloban City: Four siblings, ages nine to 16 years old, died from a fire that gutted their house at dawn on Wednesday in Barangay 78 Marasbaras, this city.
Tacloban City Fire Marshall, F/Chief Insp. Charlie Gerson, identified the victims as Dan Jade, 16; Glenn Mark, 14; Glen Marie, 11; and Gwyneth, 9.
The victims were trapped at the second floor of their rented house as the fire that originated from the ground level, quickly spread.
Gerzon said their office received the fire call at 4:58 a.m. and responding firemen put off the blaze at 5:20 a.m., or more than 20 minutes later but the house, made of light materials, was razed down.
The victims’ family runs a canteen and a vulcanizing shop at the ground floor of their rented house.
The fire marshall said the victims’ parents – Glenn and Maribel Morales – were in the market to buy foodstuff for the canteen they operate when the incident happened. He said Dan Jade even tried to get out calling for help but the door was locked from the outside.
“In fact we have to make a force entry into the house because it was padlocked,” Gerzon disclosed.
Police added that the father incurred injuries trying to save his children from the blaze.
Arson investigators initially suspect the fire was caused by a rice cooker, left plugged in, that exploded.