Fire hits building inside Palace complex
MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) Fire razed part of a building inside the Malacañang complex on Monday.
The fire started at 12:44 p.m. at the office of Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo on the fourth floor of the Tahanan ng Masa building near the San Miguel Church, around 100 to 150 meters away from the Palace, fire officials said.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was on a working visit in Misamis Occidental province when the fire occurred.
Fajardo said she had just stepped out from her office when the fire started. She said her staff reported hearing an explosion at an electrical outlet behind a photocopier.
“That was the first thing they heard. The fire also started from that area,” she said in an interview with reporters outside the building.
“My staff immediately called for help,” she said, adding the building’s smoke detectors and sprinklers were working.
The fire was declared under control at 1:07 p.m. and was put out at 1:10 p.m. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it was likely due to faulty electrical wiring, said Superintendent Felix Abrenica, district fire marshal.
The quick response of firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to the nearby San Miguel Church at the corner of Jose P. Laurel and Rio Visita Streets, the Manila Fire District said in a separate interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.
Abrenica said there were no casualties. While there was no immediate estimate of damages, Fajardo said the personal belongings of her staff, who went straight to work from their holiday break in the provinces, were destroyed.
The building houses the offices of presidential assistants, said Fajardo, concurrent Presidential Assistant for Central Luzon.
View article as posted on INQUIRER.net