Tutuban mall blaze put out but 25 firefighters injuredBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines — The fire at Tutuban Mall was completely put out before dawn Friday, but not before 25 firefighters were injured, a Manila Fire investigator said.
Fire Officer 2 Loids Hernandez said the fire at the Cluster 1 building, in the capital’s shopping district in Divisoria, reached Task Force Delta before it was completely put out at 1 a.m., more than two days after it started.
Hernandez said firefighters had a hard time putting out the fire due to the condition of the building and lack of equipment.
He said it was zero visibility inside the mall, especially in its interior portion, where gowns and other fabrics were sold.
“Kulang din tayo sa breathing apparatus,” he said. “Naghihiram hiraman lang mga bumbero natin.”
He said firefighters would also need a battery operated sensor-like apparatus that could detect heat sources in a burning establishment, as well as bodies of victims.
“Wala pa nga lang yata nito sa Pilipinas pero meron na nito sa US,” Hernandez said.
Twenty five firefighters, Hernandez said, were rushed to the hospital for difficulty in breathing, with eight suffering laceration wounds.
As to the cause of fire which destroyed 80 percent to 90 percent of the establishment, Hernandez said investigators were now on the job, but added that results were unlikely to come out within the day.
Radio reports said over 40 fire trucks were deployed to put out the blaze that started shortly after midnight Wednesday.