Fire hits building formerly occupied by City College of Manila
MANILA, Philippines–It took firefighters more than six hours to contain the fire that engulfed a dilapidated building on Escolta Street in Sta. Cruz, Manila, Wednesday morning.
As firefighters tried to contain the blaze, a chunk of concrete fell on fire volunteer Eric Lua who was then rushed to Chinese General Hospital.
The entire Escolta Street was closed as fire razed portions of the building that was formerly occupied by the defunct City College of Manila, now Universidad de Manila located in Ermita.
From the eighth floor, flames reached up to the 14th floor. The Bureau of Fire Protection raised the fire alert to Task Force Bravo.
Superintendent Jaime Ramirez, Manila Fire Marshall, said in a television interview that they had to use a 120-ft tall ladder fire truck as it was risky for the firefighters to enter the old building.
“We were afraid the structure might collapse,” Ramirez said.
The fire started at 3:30 a.m. Around 7 a.m., debris started falling from the burning building. Firemen, members of the media and bystanders were told not to go near the building as the debris fell.
The building’s security guard Emerson Narciso said in a TV interview that he saw smoke coming from the mezzanine area of the building on the second floor. He immediately called the Manila Fire Department for help.
Officials said the amount of damage was estimated to be worth P20 million.
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