Too frequent fires at UP Diliman?
MANILA, Philippines – The blaze that broke out at the University of the Philippines (UP) Faculty Center early morning Friday, April 1, is another in a string of fires to hit the UP Diliman campus.
In recent years, at least 5 major fires damaged key buildings in UP, the country’s premier state university.
On July 1, 2015, fire engulfed the Alumni Center behind UP’s Bahay ng Alumni. There were no casualties but those staying at the Alumni Hostel, where varsity atheltes reside, were evacuated. The fire was believed to have been caused by faulty electrical wiring.
On June 13, 2015, a liquified petroleum gas tank exploded in UP Diliman’s College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) food center, leaving two injured. The victims were Marilyn Bandiola, 53, a food stall owner, and 27-year-old cook Ken Taliola. The ensuing fire quickly ravaged the decades-old food center and caused damage worth P50,000.
On August 16, 2010, a fire also broke out in the south wing of Quezon Hall. The fire began at 9 pm and was extinguished by the Quezon City Fire Department a little before 9:30 pm. There were no injured and the only damage reported was to the Human Resource Development Office. Completed in 1950, Quezon Hall is the main administrative building of the University of the Philippines.
On June 9, 2010, a fire broke out in Palma Hall Pavilion II of the UP Institute of Chemistry that houses both the biochemistry and organic chemistry laboratories. Classes were temporarily suspended; no one was injured. There was speculation that the hazardous chemicals stored on site may have caused the blaze.
On January 9, 2008, the Narra Residence Hall, an abandoned dormitory for men, caught fire. The blaze started in the canteen area but quickly engulfed the mostly wooden structure. As a functioning dormitory it housed up to 300 students. At the time of the fire, it had been vacated due to safety issues.
The successive fires have led many UP students, faculty and alumni to call on the UP administration to review fire safety rules in the campus where many of the buildings were built in the immediate years after World War II. – Rappler.com
Mark Barnes is a Rappler intern from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.