Monday, January 22, 2007

Oro fire kills engaged couple

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (BEN BALCE/Jan 22)– A fire of still unknown origin trapped and killed two sweethearts in Barangay Carmen yesterday. They had planned to get married this year.

The fire broke out shortly after 3 a.m. and razed to the ground a two-storey house in Acacia St. Zone 7, Carmen, owned by Felicidad Talampas.

The engaged couple – Gilbert Verzuela, 27, of Bicol; and Emma Sagario, 28, of Purok C-28, Hinaplanon, Iligan City – were trapped inside one of the rooms. They were boarders.

Senior Ins. Francis Villaflor said the victims may have died of suffocation.

Various sources said Verzuela and Sagario had taken the September 2006 bar exams and had opted to wait for the results here. There were reports that they were classmates.

City fire station chief Oscar Abecia said the victims were burned beyond recognition.

Abecia said it took investigators some time to identify the victims because they suffered 3rd degree burns all over.

Fellow boarders said they heard cries of help but they could not do anything because the fire quickly spread. They said the victims could not go out of any of the windows because there were grills.

Sagario’s mother Linda said Emma, her only daughter, and Verzuela had planned to get married and were just waiting for the results of the bar exams.

Officials placed the damages at P250,000. Investigators theorized that the fire was caused by faulty wirings but some witnesses said some boarders were observed to be cooking even during wee hours and possibility that the fire might started.

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