Parañaque fire kills boy; mother, baby girl critical
A 7-year-old boy died while his mother and 3-month-old sister were hospitalized after a fire broke out in the apartment they were renting in Parañaque City on Tuesday night.
Onyx Garcia was declared dead on arrival at Ospital ng Parañaque, while his 33-year-old mother Cindy Garcia and the infant Cole remained in critical condition at San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay at press time, according to Insp. Wilson Tana, the city’s chief fire investigator.
They apparently suffered from smoke inhalation and showed no signs of burn injuries, Tana said, quoting the doctors’ initial findings.
The Garcias were the only occupants of the two-story apartment owned by Gina Alegado on Tamaraw Court Street, Barangay Tambo, when the fire started at 10:27 p.m. Cindy’s father, Charlie Feliciano, who also lived in the apartment, was attending a prayer meeting in the same neighborhood at the time, Tana said.
“The prayer meeting was just around the corner, so when he (Charlie) heard there was a fire, he rushed to the apartment and found the firemen already there. He told them that his daughter and grandchildren were inside,” Tana said.
The interior was already filled with smoke—allowing “zero visibility”—when the firefighters managed to force the main door open. They found Cindy and the two children unconscious in one of the three upper rooms.
Tana disputed an account given by Maria Tan, a friend of Cindy’s who was interviewed on Radyo Inquirer and complained that the firefighters took so long to act and find the victims.
“We moved quickly. The fire was put out within minutes, at 11:04 p.m. It was really the thick smoke (that proved deadly),” he explained, adding that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was first performed on the victims before they were taken to the hospital.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, though Tana noted the possibility of electrical malfunction. “The fire started on the ground floor, where burnt electric fans were found still plugged.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.