Mother, 3 kids huddled together when found by firefighters

By: Nestle L. Semilla May 07,2016 - 10:15 AM
Firefighters retrieve the body of one of the seven killed in the early morning fire in Pahina Central, Cebu City. (CDN PHOTO/IZOBELLE T. PULGO)

Firefighters retrieve the body of one of the seven killed in the early morning fire in Pahina Central, Cebu City. (CDN PHOTO/IZOBELLE T. PULGO)

CEBU CITY—A young mother and her three children aged 4, 2 and three weeks old were among the seven persons who perished in the fire that broke out early Saturday morning in an urban poor village here.

The bodies of Cindy Galvan, 22 and her children were found by firefighters huddled together near what used to be the stairs of the two-story house in Barangay Pahina Central, Cebu City owned by Maximo Villafuerte.

Villafuerte, 59, common-law wife Rose, 37, and granddaughter, Jannah, 2, were also killed in the fire that affected 70 houses.

SFO2 Noel Opolentissima, fire investigator, said the fire started from the house of Villafuerte, which had no power connection.

According to the neighbors, Villafuerte used lamps which could have triggered the blaze at 4:44 a.m.

Galvan and her family were renting a room on the second floor of Villafuerte’s house.

When the fire broke out on the ground floor of the house, Galvan and her three children were trapped on the second floor.

They apparently ran to the stairs but could not go down because the blaze had already engulfed the ground floor.

The young mother and her children stayed near the stairs where they were later found by firefighters.

Galvan was holding her three-week old baby, Rain Cinrick,on her chest while Star, 2 and Rickcin, 4 were on her side, said  Opolentissima.

Their bodies were identified by Galvan’s common-law husband, Ricardo Alvarez, 27, who was on duty as a housekeeper of a pension house  when the fire broke out.

Villafuerte, Rose and Jannah were identified by the girl’s mother, Mariz Belarmino.

She said she left her daughter to her father and stepmother upon the request of Rose who had grown fond of Jannah.

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