MANILA, Philippines - A six-year-old girl rescued her baby brother from a fire in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental despite suffering serious burns herself, local newspapers reported on Saturday.
Virginia Rojo carried her four-month-old brother Joren out of their shack on the island of Negros on February 28, shielding the child with her own body as flames licked her face.
The girl was asleep when the fire started. "Jesus told me to wake up and save my baby brother," the newspapers quoted her as saying.
Her mother was not at home when the fire broke out.
Although the brother was unharmed, Virginia suffered second-degree burns to her face and hands.
"Ang init! hindi ko alam na malaki na pala ang sunog. Pati ako may paso na pala. Hindi naman po ako natakot. Basta katabi ko si Toto at kinuha ko sya agad," Virginia said.
Her mother, Lorna, said she had to do some chores and left her children alone in their house.
"Hinatid ko kasi ang mga labada ko kaya silang dalawa lang ang naiwan sa bahay," she said.
Authorities said a stray cigarette butt may have ignited the wooden shanty where the two children were sleeping.
Virginia is confined at a clinic in Sipalay City getting treatment for her burns.
Although their neighbors have extended some assistance, the Rojos have almost nothing left after the fire destroyed nearly all their belongings. -- with reports from Marty Go, ABS-CBN Negros; Agence France-Presse