ILOILO CITY – The fire that Gaisano Grand Mall in San Jose de Buenavista, the capital of Antique province is still ongoing more than half a day after the incident started.
“The incident is under control, but it has moved to the mall’s bodega,” said Supt. Randy Pudadera, chief of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP-Antique).
“Our firefighters have moved to the back portion, where the bodega is located,” Pudadera told Manila Bulletin in a phone interview Friday morning, June 18.
Pudadera said that the embers are still there and are now damaging the stocks that arrived prior to Thursday’s fire incident.
Since the area is enclosed, firefighters had a hard time going in.
“While our firefighters have PPEs and gas masks, they have to go out once in a while to breathe fresh air,” Pudadera explained.
Based on initial report, the fire started past 5 p.m. of Thursday at the mall’s second floor. There are no injuries reported as mall-goers and mall workers had enough time to evacuate the mall.
But Pudadera confirmed that portion of the mall’s ceiling did collapse.
BFP truck, BFP personnel and even volunteer fire brigades from neighboring towns of Antique province, Iloilo province, Iloilo City, and Aklan province responded to help in controlling the fire.
As of press time, the BFP has not determined the cause of the incident or the extent of the damage.