Bureau of Customs’ 80-year old neo-classical building hit by fire
The building in Port Area, Manila stores pertinent documents on drug smuggling cases
Feb 23, 2019
A huge fire consumed the Bureau of Customs (BOC) building in Port Area, Manila Friday night. The blaze started at 9 p.m. and reached 5th alarm prompting 30 firetrucks to respond, according to BOC spokesperson Erastus Austria.
In a tweet by Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon, he said that according to responders, there was one victim, a caretaker of the building, who had to be sent to the Philippine General Hospital after suffering a first degree burn.
It was already 4 a.m. when the fire was declared under control.
PRC fire and medic teams responded to the fire incident at the Bureau of Customs building in South Harbor, Manila. One victim was transported to PGH due to first degree burns. As of 4:22am, fire already declared under control. pic.twitter.com/UmTDu5moO3
— Richard J. Gordon (@DickGordonDG) February 22, 2019
The neo-classical building designed in 1937 by architect Antonio Toledo of the Bureau of Public Works is the hub of some of the biggest drug smuggling cases. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined along with the cost of damage.
The BOC building joins the roster of historical government buildings lost to fire including the National Archives in Binondo, Manila which was engulfed in a fire that reached Task Force Charlie in May 2018.
According to Austria, many people speculate that the incident was intentionally done, but he cleared that no one wants this to happen, adding, “Ang disruption nito sa operations namin is massive.”
The said incident is likely to cause port congestion and paper trail problems according to a report by ABS-CBN.
Another fire broke out in Addition Hills earlier yesterday affecting 1,000 families. The blaze reached fifth alarm at 5:23 p.m. according to the Bureau of Fire Protection with five people reportedly hurt. It was put out at 10 p.m. Officials estimate the damage to property to be at P2.5 million.
Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net
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