P500,000 worth of damage in UP Shopping Center fire – BFP

MANILA, Philippines – The cost of damage due to the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman Shopping Center fire on Thursday, March 8, was pegged at around half a million pesos.

According to the spot report of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) acquired by Rappler, the damage to property was more or less P500,000. (READ: UP student regent calls for donations following UP Shopping Center fire)

What was lost: The BFP noted that most businesses in the UP Shopping Center sold food and various merchandise or offered printing and photocopying services.

In their initial inspection, firemen found burnt clothes, papers, and electrical equipment.

The fire agency also took into account the damage to the building. Half of its roof was torn down by the fire, and much of its electrical system got torched, according to firemen on the scene.

How the fire happened: According to the BFP's spot report, the fire began at around 6:55 am to 7 am.

Fire Inspector Rosendo Cabillan, one of the investigators, told Rappler they are pursuing tips that the fire came from the ceiling.

UP Shopping Center guards apparently tried to stop the fire on their own with a fire extinguisher but failed to prevent it from spreading. They called the fire department at 7:14 am.

First responders from the Batasan fire station arrived at 7:18 am, immediately declaring the blaze on second alarm at 7:26 am. This meant more stations could be called to respond.

The fire was declared under control around an hour later at 8:24 am, then firefighters declared "fire out" at 8:53 am.

What now: The UP Shopping Center has been placed on lockdown while the investigation continues.

Throngs of shop owners and students stood behind the yellow tape that cordoned off the scene, dreading to see what they had lost. (READ: Netizens express grief over razed UP Shopping Center) – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.