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Arson not cause of Star City fire

/ 05:46 AM December 28, 2019
Star City fire

Photo posted on Twitter shows the fire at Star City as authorities raised the fourth alarm. (Photo courtesy of Fire Alert Metro Manila)

Arson has officially been ruled out in the fire that destroyed the Star City complex in Pasay City last month, based on a monthlong investigation conducted by an interagency antiarson task force.

Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) spokesperson Gerradie Agonos, said that based on the task force’s final report, the blaze that razed the popular theme park was caused by a light ballast that overheated.

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The finding was a turnaround from Pasay City fire marshal Supt. Paul Pili’s earlier assessment that the Oct. 2 fire had been deliberately set.

In a statement, the management of the amusement park, Star Parks Corp., said that the BFP had issued a fire clearance certificate stating that the incident was not caused by arson.

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“Investigators concluded that the fire, which originated from the ‘Try Your Luck’ game booth located at the ground floor of Star City, was due to the overheating of one of the ballasts that was attached to a fluorescent light above the booth,” it added. “Investigators also found out that the ballast malfunction was due to normal wear and tear or deterioration which prompted the BFP to conclude that the fire was accidental and to declare the case closed,” it said.

In a separate radio interview, Agonos said that Pili’s comments were merely his “personal opinion” and did not reflect that of the BFP.

“There were no official reports from the BFP yet and what Pili said [was] only his own personal assessment of what happened,” he said.

Pili earlier said he was convinced the fire was deliberate because his investigators had found gasoline “in an area where it should not necessarily be,” specifically, the Pirate Adventure ride, which was located in the middle of the two-story indoor amusement park’s first floor.

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TAGS: BFP, Fire, investigation, no arson, Star City, Star City fire
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