Filipino children burned alive after being locked in house by babysitter

Three children in the Philippines were burned alive yesterday (February 27) morning after their babysitter locked them indoors when he went to visit a friend.

The two boys, aged three and four, and a girl, aged eight, were in the wooden property when the kitchen burst into flames at 9 am in Zamboanga del Sur, the Philippines.

Their parents were working in a different region and they were being cared for by their uncle, Bimbo Betzusa, who had locked them inside while he went outside to visit a friend.

An elderly resident tried to reach the youngsters but was beaten back by the inferno. Tragically, their charred bodies were found after the flames were extinguished.

Chief Inspector Dionisio Cayudong Jr., the Pagadian City Fire marshal, said the fire started in the kitchen and rapidly engulfed the house because of the light, palm wood materials it was made from.

He said: "The fire started after Betsuza's brother left the house locked and went to a friend's house. The children were trapped inside because the main door was locked."

"We have yet to determine the cause of the fire as well as the worth of the property. We know that it started in the fire and spread quickly, but we don't yet know how.''

Police Major Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said the fire broke out around 9 a.m. in at Purok Talaba in Camanga Village, Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur. The fire was fully extinguished by 9:37 and the remains of the children were found in the wreckage.

The parents were not around during the incident since the father works as a construction worker in nearby Pagadian City while the mother is an overseas Filipino worker (OFW), he added.