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Drug sting triggers Las Piñas fire; boy dies

A 10-year-old boy died during a fire that broke out in a residential area in Las Piñas City allegedly after a suspected drug pusher accidentally bumped a lighted candle while running away from policemen who conducted a buy-bust operation in the area yesterday morning.

Chief Inspector Ramon Capundag, chief of Las Piñas Burea of Fire and Protection said the victim, Alfred Arcilla, of Chesa Street, Golden Acres, Talon, Las Piñas City, perished when he was trapped inside their burning house.

Capundag said Arcilla’s charred body was discovered lying on top of the bed inside their bedroom.

Based on investigation, Capundag said the fire broke out at about 12:55 a.m. at the house of one of the suspects being arrested by Las Piñas police operatives who conducted a drug sting in the area.

He said that the drug suspect ran inside his house to elude police arrest but accidentally bumped a lighted candle, triggering fire that immediately spread to 60 nearby houses made of light materials.

The BFP said the mother of the victim narrated that she went out of their house prior to the fire to charge her cellphone in the house of a neighbor.

Arcilla’s mother said that when the fire broke out, she saw her son Alfred helping some residents in controlling the flames.

After the fire was contained at about 2:47 a.m., the mother said she saw the charred body of her son in their burnt house.

She told fire investigators that Arcilla also tried to save his elder sister and some of their belongings.

The fire destroyed 60 houses, leaving 90 families homeless.

The BFP placed the damage of fire at P300,000.

As of yesterday afternoon, the Las Piñas city police did not give any statement on the incident. It was reported that six suspects were arrested during the buy-bust operation. (JEAN FERNANDO)