By Jel Santos
About P1 million worth of properties were destroyed by a six-hour long fire at the construction site of a popular mall in Mandaluyong City Thursday night.
The fire, according to reports, started at around 8 p.m. at the Basement 2 a mall in Mandaluyong.
Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) Mandaluyong said witnesses told them the fire originated at the ceiling where the electrical wires are located.
A laborer told probers that he even shut down the breaker, but it was already too late. The blaze was getting stronger at that time.
The fire was raised to third alarm by BFP just minutes after it started, saying the fire quickly spread.
Then, the smoke got thicker. Probers said laborers grabbed their things in panic and immediately went out of the building.
“Some of the workers managed to run towards the main entrance while others headed towards the tower crane, forcibly opened the steel matting,” said Senior Fire Officer 2 Ambrocio Nebab II, one of the investigators.
Many fire trucks responded to the site, causing heavy traffic on the northbound lane. Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) then decided to close the northbound lane to pave way for the passage of fire trucks and ambulances.
MMDA advised motorists to take Shaw tunnel as an alternate route Thursday night.
On the same night, SM released a statement saying : “There is a fire incident happening in the construction site outside of the mall. Our Emergency Response Team, together with the Bureau of Fire Protection is already managing the situation. Only a portion of the mall is affected by smoke coming from the site. We are taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of everyone in complex.”
At 1:30 p.m. the next day, Friday, it was declared fire out by the BFP Mandaluyong.
No one was reported injured after the blaze was extinguished.