Police and neighbours console the grandmother in whose care the children were in. Photo: Franciso Barranted, La Nacion
Police and neighbours console the grandmother in whose care the children were in. Photo: Franciso Barranted, La Nacion

COSTA RICA NEWS — The children aged 2, 3 and 5 were burned to death this morning when their paternal grandmother left them alone for a few minutes to escort another child, a cousin of the three brothers, to the school bus.

The fire that consumer the small dwelling, located in an alley in Tambor de Alajuela, one block north of Gringos Bar, spread quickly.

Neighbours who rushed to scene said there was nothing they could do, the flames had engulfed the area of the house of not more than 25 square metres (1300 square feet), where the entire family, the three children, their father and grandmother shared.

The house where the family rented the room shared by the three children, their father and grandmother.
The house where the family rented the room shared by the three children, their father and grandmother.

Hector Chavez, director of the Cueropo de Bomberos (Fire Department), explained that 50% of the dwelling, that included the area where the three small children were, burned in totality.

Chavez said the cause of the blaze is being investigated. He explained that typically these types of fires are generally caused by faulty electrical wiring, propane gas in the kitchen.

The grandmother, a senior that was taking care of the three children abandoned by the mother, told authorities she had locked the door while she took another child in her care to the bus stop, gone only a couple of minutes before she was told of the fire.  The father of the children was at work.

“We tried to knock down the door but could not because it was jammed. Something prevented us from opening the door,” said Jessenia Chacon, one of the neighbours told the television news cameras.

For respect of the families, the names of the children are being withheld from publication.

So far this year six children have died from similar circumstances, according to information by the Bomberos.

The Hospital Nacional de Niños (Children’s Hospital) reports attending 420 children with serious burns so far this year.

“We adults are responsible for the care of children,” said Chaves in a live television interview at noon.

Source: La Nacion; Teletica; CRHoy


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