Firemen still battling Gaisano mall fire in General Santos
KORONADAL CITY –– Firefighters in General Santos City continue to battle the huge fire that hit Gaisano Mall of GenSan, triggered by magnitude 6.3 quake that hit most of Mindanao Wednesday night.
“We are still assessing the situation, we are not declaring fire out yet,” Chief Insp. Reginald Legaste, Gensan City Fire Marshall, said in an interview Thursday morning.
As of 7 a.m., firefighters and fire trucks from GenSan fire office, Filipino-Chinese Fire Brigade, and KCC fire department continued putting off the fire that gutted most of Gaisano Mall.
“Fire is still on, we are still here monitoring and evaluating,” said Dr. Bong Dacera of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.
Legaste quoted one of the personnel of Gaisano Mall who said the fire started at the kitchenware section of the mall right after the quake at 7:37 p.m.
“It’s heartwarming to see the fire truck of KCC Mall helping put out the fire that engulfed a competitor mall,” said Eliazar Gomez, 40, a fire volunteer.
Koronadal City experienced Intensity V that left at least 15 persons slightly injured, according to Rolly Aquino, speaking for the South Cotabato provincial disaster unit.
Most suffered bruises and dizziness, he said. Moviegoers at KCC Mall of Marbel also panicked following the quake.
Dante Maquiling, a local journalist who was at the KCC mall movie house at the time of the tremor, said debris fell inside the movie house.
“There was panic, people ran to different directions, and I ran to the door only to find more people there,” Maquiling said./lzb
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