Ayala mall remains closed; Fix Metro’s cooling towers – BFP-7
The Ayala Center Cebu mall will remain closed until it will be safe for the public to enter it.
Jeanette Japzon, corporate communications manager of Cebu Holdings Inc., made this announcement on Tuesday amid the request of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Central Visayas (BFP-7) for the mall management not to reopen the mall until their recommendations will be implemented.
“Right now, we are checking all systems, and the mall will remain closed until we are sure that it is safe for the public to enter,” she told Cebu Daily News.
The Ayala Center Cebu was closed to the public following the fire that swept parts of the adjacent Metro Ayala Department Store and Supermarket in Cebu City for almost 67 hours.
On Tuesday, the BFP-7 recommended that the mall would remain closed until they could remove or repair the four cooling towers of the adjacent Metro Ayala store, which was destroyed by the fire, which started last Friday and was put out on Monday afternoon.
“The safety of the people is our priority,” said Senior Supt. Samuel Tadeo, chief of the BFP-7, in an interview on Tuesday.
“I noticed that the cooling towers are tilted so I recommended to the Ayala management not to open the Ayala mall (until the cooling towers are removed),” he said.
The four cooling towers, he said, weigh 60 tons.
Although the fire was already completely put out, a fire truck was still stationed outside the burned establishment just in case the blaze will rekindle.
Tadeo said the investigation was ongoing to determine the cause of fire.
Last Monday, members of the composite task force who investigate the Metro Ayala fire went inside Metro Ayala and took samples of the debris that included ashes and electric wires from the toy section’s stock room in the third floor where the fire started.
Tadeo said the samples were sent to the BFP laboratory in Manila for micro-electro analysis.
Tadeo said they were also able to secure testimonies from store employees who were present when the fire broke out.
Damage caused by the fire was pegged at least P100 million although Tadeo said the amount may go up to half a billion pesos.
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