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Child abuser on bail suspected of starting QC fire that killed boy.

A fire that killed a 4-year-old boy in Quezon City Friday is being blamed on a man who was earlier heard threatening to torch his own house after being accused of child abuse by his own family.

The two-hour blaze that started just before noon engulfed about 50 homes in the slum neighborhood known as Barrio San Roque in Barangay Sangandaan.

The fatality, identified as Mark Kyle Balabes, was trapped inside the second-floor room rented by his mother at a house belonging to the family of Ronnie Alarcon, whom residents suspect to be the arsonist.

The fire reportedly started on the first floor, which was occupied by the Alarcons, according to Quezon City fire marshal Supt. Jesus Fernandez.

Quoting residents, Fernandez said Alarcon, 40, was seen running away from the house just before the fire broke out and had threatened to set it on fire the previous day.

After the fire was put out, the residents caught up with Alarcon and ganged up on him. He was later taken into custody by the police at the nearby Camachile precinct.

Four days earlier, Alarcon was also arrested by the police on complaints of child abuse filed by his own family members, according to the precinct commander, SPO4 Arsenio Caraveo.

He was able to post bail and was released on Thursday, Fernandez said. "But when his family turned him away, he threatened to burn the house," the official added.

In a phone interview, Alarcon denied starting the fire, saying he was just joking when he made a threat since the house was supposedly infested with "bed bugs and cockroaches." He also claimed he was in another house when the fire started.

Alarcon remains in detention at press time to face investigation for arson, Fernandez said.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 11, 2015
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