Naperville, IL - A Filipino Overseas Worker (OFW) succumbed to death after his failed attempt to save a couple from a house fire in Illinois. The brave OFW was identified as Allen Belaguas, 21 years old, of the 9100 block of Franklin Court, Orland Park.
A report indicated that the Filipino live-in caregiver sustained third degree burns and suffered severe smoke inhalation in the fire which occurred on December 18, 2013. For around two months, Allen was in comatose and he was in intensive care until his death on Sunday at a Rainbow Hospice facility. He was declared dead at 5:35 p.m.
DailyHerald news reported the OFW caregiver had just been working at the Lamberts' for eight days when the fire broke out at around 6:50 a.m. on December 18. It said Allen initially escaped the house fire, however, he went back to rescue the couple whom he was caring. 57-year-old Tom Lamberts, a brain cancer patient, and 56-year-old Jan, who was blind died instantly when the second floor of the house collapsed onto their basement. Despite Allen's heroic failed attempt to save the couple, his mom lauded him for doing his job, the report said.
Allen's close friends, relatives, and family members described him as a "fun-loving, caring and adventurous" person who loved music and photography. Before he rendered his services to the Lamberts' family, Allen became a certified nursing assistant in a certain nursing home.
Meanwhile, the family and relatives of Belaguas in Cagayan de Oro are looking for some ways to expedite the repatriation of his remains. In a report, they are facing a big challenge upon learning that Allen was not a member of the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA). Welfare officer III of OWWA-10 Eugene Mesias was cited saying the agency can assist with the repatriation, but Belaguas won't receive a single benefit from OWWA.
“Kung di sya member ng OWWA, wala syang makukuhang benefits, pero matutulungan naman namin sila sa repatriation through referral. Kailangan lang nilang pumunta sa DFA para mag-execute ng affidavit of acceptance of human remains,” Mesias said.