SAN FRANCISCO–A Filipina community leader died in a fire in an apartment block in Al Muntazah in Qatar last December 7. Now injuries from that fire have also resulted in the deaths of her husband and teenage daughter.
Chona Rian-Pingul, 47, was a prominent leader in the Filipino and Catholic church communities in Qatar and had worked for Qatar Shell as a contract analyst. She was killed in a fire that engulfed her family’s company-provided apartment in the early hours of December 7.
Her husband, Rafaele Paule (Raffy) Pingul, 45, an operating theater technician at Hamad Medical Corp., died December 12 while their daughter, Micaela, 13, passed away on December 10, according to a report by Doha News.
Father and daughter had been in a critical condition in Hamad General Hospital’s intensive care unit since they were rescued from the fire.
Son, Rafael Lorenzo, 15, survived the fire. His sister, who is known as Bambi and was studying in the Philippines at the time, flew to Qatar last week.
Friends and coworkers packed the memorial for Rafaele, Chona and Micaela Pingul.
The cause of the fire is still under police investigation, but it may have started in Micaela’s room and spread through the three-bedroom apartment while the family slept, according to Doha News.
Hundreds of family, friends, colleagues and well wishers packed the Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary last night to attend a eulogy service for the three family members.
A big crowd came to the church consisting of coworkers from Shell and HMC and friends. The victims’ bodies will be flown back to the Philippines once official paperwork has been completed.
The family had lived in Qatar for 16 years, and had been prominent members of the Catholic church here, setting up the local chapter of a faith group Couples for Christ in 2000.