By Hilda Austria

FIRE KILLS FIVE. The aftermath of a fire that killed a family of five in Pozorrubio town, Pangasinan past midnight Monday (April 3, 2023). The fire was caused by an overcharged electric bike, according to authorities. (Courtesy of Kristine Ilumin Sampayan)

POZORRUBIO, Pangasinan – An overcharged electric bike was the cause of a fire that killed a family of five here early Monday morning, according to an investigation of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Pozorrubio.

In an interview on Tuesday, Fire Officer 3 Christian Verosil said the e-bike was on the ground floor of the victim’s residence and was left plugged in overnight.

“(Their) electronic bike does not have an automatic switch mechanism that would stop once the charging was completed,” he said.

He said the fire that started through the overcharged bike spread through the wirings of their house until it reached the attic where the casualties were sleeping.

“There are 10 persons in the house. The deceased father (Mark Villanueva) saved the other five members of their household including the elderly and those who were on the ground floor but when he returned to try to save his wife (Dexie) and three children aged six, two, and one, they were trapped and were unable to get out,” Verosil said.

He added that the attic was made of wood which made the fire spread almost immediately and there were no other openings aside from a small window and the attic door.

Meanwhile, Verosil said two neighboring houses were also damaged but there were no injuries or casualties.

He said the damage incurred amounted to PHP9 million.

Verosil advised the public to always unplug appliances when not in use. (PNA)