Fire hits building under construction in Ortigas Center
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A fire broke out at a building in the Ortigas business center in Pasig City early Monday afternoon, November 2.
As of posting, the Avantgarde building fire, which started at around 1:45 pm, has raised 4th alarm.
The building on Jade Drive in Ortigas Center, intended for commercial and resident use, is still under construction. It stands between One Corporate Center and Exchange Regency, near the corner of Exchange Road.
According to Major Nazrudin Cablayan of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in Pasig City, the fire originated from the building's second basement , where flammable construction materials such as paints and thinners were stored. Authorities are still looking into what caused the fire that reached up to the third basement.
In just an hour, the fire status escalated from the first alarm to 4th, as of 2:56 pm.
Fire officers and volunteers from Marikina, San Juan, Mandaluyong came to aid the operation.
Authorities had a hard time entering the building because of continued explosions of combustible materials.
When explosions stopped, responders wearing special breathing apparatus, which can only last up to 20 minutes, penetrated the building. As of posting, four batches have came in to control the fire.
"Hindi po basta-basta pumapasok ang mga tao natin kanina, dapat po may breathing apparatus gawa makapal po 'yung usok," said BFP Eastern District Director Samuel Tadeo.
(Our men had to wear breathing apparatus before going in because the smoke cloud is too thick.)
Mitigating the fire also took a while since BFP had to wait for a special chemical called an aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to extinguish the fire.
"Yung mga ganun po na klase ng ng sunog di po basta-basta mapatay ng tubig," Tadeo said.
(Water can't simply extinguish this kind of fire.)
Only one person was present in the basement when the fire broke. He was able to escape quickly, said Cablayan.
As of posting, everyone has evacuated the building. No one was reported wounded or hurt.
Refresh this page for updates. – Rappler.com