Tabuk City, Kalinga –A 4-year-old girl saw a burning shed in a field in Barangay Dilag morning of May 18 and did something she knew she had to do or someone will be burned alive.
According to Petronila Madio, the girl’s mum, they were going back home after finishing their transaction at a rice mill when her daughter was trying to get her attention while she was occupied on the phone.
Petronila said she didn’t mind her daughter at first but the girl started talking loudly saying and pointing at the direction of the burning shed, “mama fire, fire house ti kids.” The girl repeatedly mentioned fire and kids which finally got their attention before they could get farther.
Fires usually happen during the summer, and just recently Tabuk experienced huge grass fires, with one destroying about 5 hectares.
Saving the toddlers
Teddy Lugao, the grandfather of the girl, immediately called Charlie Ossala, the operator of the rice mill to help as they rushed to the burning shed to stop the fire and check whether what his 4-year-old granddaughter mentioned of kids being there was true.
While putting out the fire, Petronila saw the 3 children ages 4, 3, and 1 inside just watching the on-going fire oblivious to the danger and possible death that could have happened.
Petronila took the risk and got inside to get the toddlers out from the burning shed.
“Tinuredak nga apan alan isuda ta mapuuran diay bubung en,ngem talaga napudot ket isu panagsabat ko idiay duwwa a babae ken maysa lalaki ta napan da nagala ti danum idiay uneg ti balay da ta pag patay da idiay uram,” she said.
Petronila was able to get all the kids out before the fire got more intense and uncontrollable. Several individuals later responded until the fire died down.
Cause of the fire
Petronila said that there were actually six kids left behind by their mum to buy necessities at the Dagupan Public Market.
Based on Petronila’s conversation with the three older kids, one of them was playing with a match which somehow lit up the cogon grass used as walling and part of the roofing of the shed. In panic, she asked the other two older kids to go with her in fetching water to put out the fire leaving the three toddlers behind.
“Pirmi sangit diay 9 years old a babae ta isuna ti nagay-ayam iti posporo a pinatay na kanu met diay palito. Naisindi na ngem naibbatan na diay ayan ti pan-aw,” she said.
She added that when the fire started to escalate, the 3 older kids didn’t ask for help because they thought they can manage it and that they were afraid to be scolded.
Petronila was thankful that her daughter got their attention, if not, they would have seen a rather tragic story. She said she was happy no one was harmed from the incident aside from Ossala who incurred minor burns.
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