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FIRE SAFETY MEASURE

Cebu mayor wants cap on building height

Construction of high-rise buildings continues in Cebu City. —LITO TECSON/CEBU DAILY NEWS

CEBU CITY—Mayor Tomas Osmeña is planning to limit the height of buildings in the city following a fire that gutted a department store here last week.

“I’m thinking that if there is a fire, and there’s a ladder that can reach 18 stories, can that ladder evacuate 13 stories of residents? The answer is no,” he told reporters on Monday, shortly before the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Central Visayas declared a “fire out” at the Metro Department Store in Ayala Center Cebu.

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According to Senior Supt. Samuel Tadeo, BFP regional director, the BFP has a fire truck equipped with ladder that can respond to incidents in high-rise buildings.

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In a news conference on Monday, Osmeña said he would order the city’s Office of the Building Official not to approve the occupancy permits of high-rise establishments until further notice.

Existing high-rise structures, or buildings with more than four floors, may be excused but its owners must comply with all safety requirements.

Osmeña admitted he wanted the public to discuss his proposal, which came after a two-day fire that hit five of the eight floors of Metro Ayala.

Spared by the flames are the ground floor, where the main entrance is located, and two basements housing the grocery and household items.

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TAGS: Ayala Center Cebu, building height limit, Metro Department Store fire, Tomas Osmeña
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