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Man, 3 children die inside burning house

By AARON RECUENCO

A man and his three children died when they were reportedly trapped inside their burning house in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao before dawn yesterday.

Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional police, said the cadavers of the four victims were retrieved when the fire was put out almost an hour after the blaze started at around 2 a.m.

He identified the fatalities as Damus Araneta, and his three children Dagul, 7; Vina, 5; and Mujahid, 3.

But arson probers from the local Bureau of Fire Protection is investigating the case thoroughly over the reported testimonies from the neighbors of the victims in Sitio Niyog in Barangay Katuli.

The neighbors of the victims told the investigators that they have to look into the possibility of a possible suicide involving the father.

The investigator, who requested for anonymity since the neighbors are yet to make an affidavit of their testimony, were reportedly claiming that the father might have shut the door using nails to ensure that his children would not escape.

The house is made of light materials, the reason why it was easily engulfed by the blaze.

The fire investigator said the kerosene was either deliberately or accidentally poured before the blaze.

The victim’s wife is reportedly working as a domestic worker abroad.

“The neighbors are claiming that his wife left him. Siguro naaburido,” the investigator said.

“During the retrieval, it looks like the father held his children very tight. But again these are yet to be verified including the use of kerosene,” the fire investigator added.

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