Fire hits Cebu mall

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Fire struck a mall building in Cebu City Friday night, January 5.

Metro Gaisano said in a statement that the fire at the Metro Ayala Center was detected at around 9:30 pm on Friday.

At around that time, “smoke was detected at the 3rd floor toys stockroom of the Metro Ayala building,” Metro Gaisano said in a statement late Friday night.

“The Metro Ayala Emergency Brigade Team and Ayala Center Cebu Emergency Brigade Team are working with the Bureau of Fire and other emergency response teams to manage the situation. All customers and personnel were safely evacuated,” it added.

SunStar reported that according to Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) Chief Nagiel Bañacia, it might take two days to completely put out the fire.

Banacia was also quoted as saying that as of 3 am on Saturday, January 6, the fourth floor of the mall collapsed. 

 “All firetrucks of Cebu City fire station and their volunteers are responding to the fire,”  Fire Superintendent Vonrad Fernando Dobluis  of Bureau of Fire Protection Region-7 said in an interview with dzMM early Saturday afternoon. 

Dobluis said that firefighters made an opening on the roof of the mall to “ventilate the smoke coming out of the mall.”

The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office issued a haze alert  because of the thick smoke emanating from the burning building, which has affected the surrounding area.

Dobluis said that authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire, which was to have started at the third floor of the building. – Rappler.com