CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – What was supposed to be the last day of a happy reunion of siblings who were all senior citizens, turned into a tragedy when the four died in a fire Wednesday, October 3, that razed their ancestral home in Mahinog, Camiguin province.
Angelita Lao, 74; Tomasita Lao, 70; James Lao, 65; and Vergelio Lao, 64 died in the fire that gutted their century-old ancestral home.
Bureau of Fire Region 10 spokesperson Noli de la Rita said that the fire started 3:25 in the morning and was declared fire out 4 hours later.
Fire Officer 3 Sergio Virtudazo, Jr of the Mahinog town fire department said that the house was built in 1918 and that sisters Angelita and Tomasita are residents of the house.
The house of the Lao family was just 3 blocks away from the town fire station.
James and Vergelio were visiting for a few days their sisters who were both spinsters. The brothers were scheduled to leave the island Wednesday. But, instead of a memorable close to the happy reunion, tragedy struck the family.
Lorna Jaquilmac and two children who were also residents of the house survived the fire.
Jaquilmac and the children were sleeping on the ground floor, while the fire started at the second floor.
De la Rita said that the firemen tried to rescue the siblings but the heat was so intense. “Our firemen tried their best, but the structure of the house which is made of wood made it impossible to get to the siblings."
Camiguin Governor Maria Luisa Romualdo said that they have provided aid for the Lao family.
“It is sad what happened to the family, they were here to celebrate but it ended in a tragedy,” Governor Romualdo said. – Rappler.com