BFP ordered to prioritize Manila Central Post office fire probe


Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ Abalos, Jr. on Wednesday ordered the Bureau of Fire Protection to prioritize the investigation into the Manila Central Post Office fire that gutted the historic building on Sunday, 21 May.

The inferno lasted for 30 hours, with the first alarm raised at 11:41 p.m. on Sunday, 21 May  and the BFP declaring the fire out at 6:33 a.m. on Tuesday, 23 May.

“We must get to the bottom of this unfortunate incident at all costs and at the soonest possible time. That is why I am calling on the BFP to prioritize the investigation of the Manila Central Post Office fire and exhaust all means necessary to find out the cause of this incident that destroyed one of the country’s architectural heritage and national historical landmarks,” Abalos said.

In its initial investigation, the BFP said the blaze started at the basement of the building where materials made of paper and wood were stocked. The fire then spread to the other floors of the building where parcels and a number of national identification cards were reduced to ashes.

The DILG said that the damage caused by the fire is estimated at P300 million, but BFP officials said it may reach more than P500 million.

Abalos cited the BFP personnel and fire volunteers who risked their lives in responding to the call of duty, with 18 firefighters reported injured during the incident.

“I commend the gallant men and women of the BFP, as well as our volunteer firefighters, who have shown heroism and courage in the face of adversity,’’ Abalos said.

He also directed the bureau to ensure that the firefighters and volunteers that were injured during the fire incident get the appropriate assistance.

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