Cause of fire in mall still under investigation
The fire that struck a boutique selling a popular clothing line inside the Festival Supermall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, on Monday may have been caused by a malfunctioning circuit breaker. “[Investigators are] looking into this as a possible cause but we cannot say anything for sure because results from the testing we did have yet to be returned to us by the laboratory,” arson investigator Senior Fire Officer 3 Gerry Nazareno told the Inquirer in a phone interview. Nazareno said some of the staffers of Bench they talked to said that on Sunday night, the shop’s circuit breaker tripped, causing all the lights to shut down. Minutes before the shop opened for business the following day, black smoke wafted through the store, prompting mall authorities to close down the establishment for several hours.
“We would like to inform our valued shoppers at Festival Supermall that everything is back to normal,” Aurora Nuque, group head of marketing events and exhibits, said in a statement. She also thanked fire officials and assured the public that their safety and convenience remain a primary concern. “We would also like to apologize to our customers who were inconvenienced by the incident and assure them that we are conducting regular checks on our systems to make their visit safe and enjoyable,” she said.—Miko Morelos
Vendor killed beside sleeping partner
A fruit vendor who was sleeping beside his live-in partner in their store at the Cloverleaf Market in Balintawak, Quezon City, was stabbed dead by a still unidentified man at dawn Tuesday. Police Officer 2 Jogene Hernandez of the homicide section of the Quezon City Police District identified the victim as Ernesto Manlangit, 38, a resident in the city. In his report, Hernandez said a man entered the couple’s store around 2:30 a.m. and stabbed the victim in the chest. His partner told the police that she was awakened by a noise although she saw only the back of her husband’s killer as he was leaving the store. The police said the victim was rushed to Quezon City General Hospital by other vendors but he died as he was being treated. Hernandez said they had yet to establish the motive for the killing.—Nancy C. Carvajal
Thief caught in customs bureau compound
A 35-year-old man allegedly tried to make off on Monday morning with a desktop computer and a bag of groceries from the Bureau of Customs (BoC) compound before he was caught. Reynson Sugcang, a resident of Parola Compound in Tondo, Manila, was arrested by customs policemen and turned over to the custody of the Manila Police District Station 2 after he was caught stealing a desktop computer and a bag of groceries from the operations building of the BoC at the Manila International Container Port in North Harbor.—Jeannette I. Andrade