Fire hits UP Diliman Faculty Center

Rappler.com
(8th UPDATE) The Bureau of Fire Protection declares fire out at 11:20 am

MASSIVE BLAZE. A fire hits the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Faculty Center on April 1, 2016. Photo courtesy of Chad Booc

MANILA, Philippines (8th UPDATE) – A fire engulfed the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Faculty Center early Friday, April 1.

In a statement Friday, UP Diliman said the blaze broke out at about 1:15 am. By 1:40 am, the fire had already reached the 5th alarm, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

The Quezon City Fire Department then raised Task Force Alpha about an hour later.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>UPDATE: Fire alarm has reached &quot;Task Force Alpha,&quot; one level above the fifth alarm, according to QC Fire Dept. <a href=”https://t.co/Ngu9OQkhAO”>pic.twitter.com/Ngu9OQkhAO</a></p>&mdash; Philippine Collegian (@phkule) <a href=”https://twitter.com/phkule/status/715610692758274048″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The blaze was officially declared under control at 4:40 am. Senior Supt. Jesus Fernandez of the Bureau of Fire Protection-Quezon City declared fire out at 11:20 am.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Senior supt Jesus Fernandez of BFP quezon city declared fire out in UP at 11:20am <a href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom”>@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/F5eMzyVQFq”>pic.twitter.com/F5eMzyVQFq</a></p>&mdash; Raisa Serafica (@RaiMarielle) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RaiMarielle/status/715744044974903297″>April 1, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The cause of the blaze is still unknown, but Senior Supt. Crispolo Diaz, BFP-National Capital Region Regional Director for Operations, pegged the structural damage at P3 million.

‘Priceless’ 

The Philippine Collegian, via Twitter, said that 5 fire trucks were first to arrive on the scene. At the peak of the fire, there were dozens of fire trucks, some of which had to replenish their water supply.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>At least five firetrucks are trying to put out the fire now gutting the Faculty Center. <a href=”https://t.co/GC7NrNzNF6″>pic.twitter.com/GC7NrNzNF6</a></p>&mdash; Philippine Collegian (@phkule) <a href=”https://twitter.com/phkule/status/715596722810925056″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<div id=”fb-root”></div><script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3″;  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));</script><div class=”fb-post” data-href=”https://www.facebook.com/patricia.evangelista.ph/posts/10154044287926798″ data-width=”500″><div class=”fb-xfbml-parse-ignore”><blockquote cite=”https://www.facebook.com/patricia.evangelista.ph/posts/10154044287926798″><p>Second and third floor still on fire. Firemen have entered through front access. Still on Task Force Alpha, requesting for further assistance. Trucks have left to replenish. Rappler</p>Posted by <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/patricia.evangelista.ph”>Patricia Evangelista</a> on&nbsp;<a href=”https://www.facebook.com/patricia.evangelista.ph/posts/10154044287926798″>Thursday, March 31, 2016</a></blockquote></div></div>

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Tan, who was on the scene, said there are no casualties.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>UPD Chancellor Michael Tan is &quot;thankful that there were no faculty inside the bldg&quot; that caught fire <a href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom”>@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/mqluUgzDe8″>pic.twitter.com/mqluUgzDe8</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/715644165984378880″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Tan, however, told Rappler that the years of research and work lost due to the fire are priceless.

“Know that the biggest loss has been in terms of all the records, all the papers, and that can never really be replaced,” he said.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan: Biggest loss in Faculty Center fire is in terms of records, papers <a href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom”>@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/TBmlVoyLHo”>pic.twitter.com/TBmlVoyLHo</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/715625683330830336″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The Faculty Center, Tan added, is a very historic building.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>UPD Chancellor Tan: The Faculty Center&#39;s a very historic building, one of the most beautiful when it was first built <a href=”https://t.co/CigeGperef”>pic.twitter.com/CigeGperef</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/715645847208206336″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Some 250 faculty members will have to be relocated because of the blaze.

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<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>UPD Chancellor Michael Tan says his heart goes out to 250 faculty members who will be relocated <a href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom”>@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/8HJUqzeWEE”>pic.twitter.com/8HJUqzeWEE</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/715637226927841280″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The fire reportedly started on the Faculty Center’s third floor.

TASK FORCE ALPHA. The fire at the UP Diliman Faculty Center reaches Task Force Alpha. Photo courtesy of Chad Booc

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<blockquote class=”twitter-video” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>As of 3:45 am, UP Diliman Faculty Center fire is still on Task Force Alpha according to QC Fire Dept <a href=”https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom”>@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href=”https://t.co/scp1s26RXn”>pic.twitter.com/scp1s26RXn</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href=”https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/715628089930153984″>March 31, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Classes will continue across the university on Friday, except those scheduled at the College of Arts and Letters building.

Last year, two fires hit the UP Diliman campus – one at the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) Food Center in June, and another at the Alumni Center, also known as Fonacier Hall, in July. – with reports from Voltaire Tupaz, Patricia Evangelista & Raisa Serafica/Rappler.com