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2 dead in fire caused by lightning strike

DAVAO CITY – A nine-year-old boy and his house help died in a fire caused by a lightning strike that hit the house of a Department of Tourism official on Artiaga St., Purok 4, Barangay 33-D, here yesterday.

Authorities identified the victims as John Brent Larano David, 9, son of DoT Region 11 Assistant Regional Director Eden Josephine David, and their 19-year-old house help Kimberly A. Luayon.

Investigation showed that witnesses saw lightning strike the house of the victims at around 12:30 a.m. minutes before the fire started. A heavy downpour, caused by tropical storm “Marce” (international name “Tokage”) followed.

Arson probers theorized that the lightning hit the main electricity line, causing the fire on second floor that spread quickly in the house made of light materials.

Assistant Regional Director David, her relative Imelda Motoc, a male househelp, and the other female house help Rowena Arisgado, were injured in the fire. David and the male house help were taken to separate hospitals.

Damage to property was placed at around P350,000.

The body of John Brent or JB was taken to a funeral parlor here.

Authorities are still investigating the incident. (Yas D. Ocampo)