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Retired general’s wife, daughter killed in fire

The wife and daughter of retired police general Ismael Rafanan died in a fire that hit their two-story house in Quezon City yesterday.

Fire Supt. Jesus Fernandez, Quezon City Fire Marshal, identified the victims as Merilyn Rafanan, 61, and her daughter Stara, 27.

Fernandez said that the fire on Courage St., Capitol Homes, Barangay Batasan Hills, started at about 7:52 a.m. in Mrs. Rafanan’s room.

He said the fire quickly spread and trapped the victims who were both asleep when it started. Firefighters put out the fire that reached the third alarm at about 8:22 a.m.

Fernandez said the body of Mrs. Rafanan was found at the comfort room on the second floor while Stara’s remains were found in her bedroom.

Both died due from suffocation, according to Fernandez. “Suffucation ang pumatay sa dalawang biktima. Nakita ang mga katawan nila doon sa second floor,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez said an investigation will be conducted regarding the incident. The fire is said to be electrical in nature.

The remains of the victims are expected to be brought to St. Peter Funeral Homes on Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City for autopsy.

Relatives and friends rushed to the Rafanans’ home after the fire. One of those was Director General Arturo Cacdac Jr., outgoing chief of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, who is said to be a close friend of the family.

Rafanan was one of the so-called “Euro generals” who were accused of using P10 million in Philippine National Police intelligence funds to attend an International Police Organization conference in Russia in 2008.

He was out of the house when the fire occurred. (FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)