4 family members killed in QC home clinic fire
A dentist, an optometrist and their two daughters died after being trapped in a fire that hit their Quezon City residence, where they also operated their dental and optical clinic.
The tragedy left only one surviving member of the Bucad family, who rented a unit at the 2-story LHC Square building at the corner of 15th and Main avenues in Barangay San Roque, an official said.
Senior Supt. Jesus Fernandez, the city fire marshal, identified the victims as Rodolfo Bucad, a 56-year-old dentist; his wife Gracita Bucad, a 58-year-old optometrist; and their daughters Heizel Bucad, 30, who was also a dentist, and Tricia Lopez, 20.
The victims apparently died of suffocation and had no burns or other visible injuries when found on the mezzanine. The fire was believed to have started in the kitchen on the ground floor and filled the unit with thick smoke as the family slept upstairs.
The fire department was alerted to the blaze around 3 a.m. by Rodrigo Bigao, the building security guard. Up to 12 fire trucks responded and the fire was declared out two hours later.
Firefighters who were able to penetrate the ground floor while it was still in flames found the Bucads unconscious on the mezzanine. Medics tried but failed to revive them on the spot.
The victims were then brought to East Avenue Medical Center, where they were declared dead on arrival.
In his report, Fernandez noted signs that the fire may have been caused by an electrical malfunction. An appliance and a rechargeable flashlight, both burnt, were still plugged into wall sockets when found by investigators, he said.
The fire did not cause damage on other parts of the building, including the facade of the family’s Sight & Bite Dental and Optical Clinic.
Fernandez said Joshua, the eldest of the Bucad siblings and a call center agent, was out at work when their house caught fire.
The victims’ remains were brought to La Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque City.