Toddler dies in domestic fire

POLICIA JUDICIÁRIA are investigating the circumstances of a fire in Faro in which a five-year-old girl died on Thursday (November 1).

The child was playing in her room in the attic of the house and died as a result of smoke inhalation.

The Resident has been told that a special team of the PJ experts in fire investigation was called in by local authorities to analyse the circumstances surrounding the fire. At the time The Resident went to press, a final report was still to be released by the PJ.

Bombeiros were called at 3.39pm, according to Commander Vaz Pinto of the Faro Civil Protection, who said the first emergency vehicle arrived only five minutes after the call but it was already too late to save the little girl, Mara.

Mara lived with her parents Sónia, 31, and Leonel, 30, a sister, Letícia, three, as well as grandparents aged 53 and 80. The building, in a neighbourhood called Mar e Guerra just outside the city limits, was a former warehouse that had been adapted to house the family group.

According to the Bombeiros, the flames progressed rapidly due to the wood materials used in the construction inside the house.

Testimonies at the scene reported that the mother didn’t have time to rescue the older daughter and that she ran in and out of the house trying to save as many people as she could.

Unfortunately, the stairs leading to the girl’s room were difficult to access and that made it impossible to rescue her due to the intense smoke and flames.

Mara’s father, who was at work when the fire happened, arrived when the Bombeiros were already at the scene and had to be transported to the hospital, due to the shock.

All other members of the family, except Letícia, were also transported to the Faro Hospital to receive psychological support and assistance for their light injuries.

Faro Câmara arranged temporary accommodation for the family, but the group chose to stay with relatives living nearby.

Cecília Pires