DEADLY FIRE. Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and village chief Lady Gles Gonzales Pallen visit the site of a residential fire in Barangay Taculing on Monday (April 17, 2023). A 35-year-old woman and her four-year-old daughter perished in the blaze. (Photo courtesy of Adrian Prietos)
BACOLOD CITY – A woman and her daughter died in a fire that hit their home and seven other houses in Purok Bayanihan, Barangay Taculing here minutes before 9 a.m. on Monday, a report of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said.

The fatalities were identified as Mengel Itchon, 35, and Jhanella Itchon, 4.

"(When) their charred bodies were found, the daughter was still holding her mother's hand," Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez told reporters after visiting the site.

He said the woman, who is partially paralyzed after suffering a stroke a few years back, first sent out her daughter, but the child refused to leave her and went back inside the house.

Another resident, Arthuro Aplacador, 87, sustained minor burns, the report said.

Of the eight affected houses, seven have been totally damaged while one was partially damaged.

Initial damage was estimated at PHP300,000, the report added.

"I would like to commend our firemen, considering the neighboring houses are made of light materials, it could have been even worse. Because of their quick response the damage was isolated to only (those) houses," Benitez said.

The mayor said the affected families will receive the standard financial assistance for fire incidents from the city government. (PNA)