Father burns house, dies with 4-year-old son

Police and fire fighters probe the alleged arson incident which resulted in the death of a man and his four-year-old son at Purok Tuburan 2, Barangay Bacong, Bago City, Negros Occidental Friday. (Photo courtesy of Bago City Police Station)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – A father and his four-year-old son died after setting their house on fire at Purok Tuburan 2, Barangay Bacong, Bago City, Negros Occidental on Friday.

The fatalities were identified as Rolyn Alapar, 24, and his son John Gabriel.

Police Major John Joel Batusbatusan, city police chief, said the fire broke out at Alapar’s house around 3:50 p.m. after he had a short talk with his neighbor.

Prior to the incident, Alapar was having coffee at his neighbor’s house when he opened up to his neighbor about his recent behavior of burning their curtains at home. Videos of the incident were recorded in a cellular phone he left behind.

Alapar told his neighbor to give the phone to his wife’s grandmother before he went home. Then a blaze occurred as witnessed by his neighbor.

Some of their neighbors tried to put out the fire but they failed until the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the police responded.

The fire did not affect other neighboring houses but Alapar’s house which is made of light materials was destroyed. Both victims sustained third-degree burns.

However, their neighbors were wondering because his son did not shout or even cried for help amid the blaze.

“It‘s possible that the child was unconscious even before he started the blaze, but the family refused to subject him for autopsy,” Batusbatusan said.

Batusbatusan said the two victims were living by themselves since Alapar’s wife is working abroad.

He said Alapar may have committed suicide, along with his son when he burned their house. Alapar was reportedly having a problem with his wife which probably triggered him to commit arson.

His neighbors started to notice his unusual behavior these past weeks, he added.

“Alapar also left a video on his cellular phone, saying his last words to his family before the incident happened,” Batusbatusan said.

Meanwhile, the city government will extend assistance to the victims’ family.

Mayor Nicholas Yulo said he was saddened about the incident and he has signified to help the family.