Richard Gomez on site as fire guts Gaisano mall in Ormoc City

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A huge fire of still unknown origin broke out at the Gaisano Capital mall here before dawn on Sunday.

The more than two-decade-old shop renting a government-owned building caught fire which quickly spread to other parts of the establishment.

Senior Fire Officer (SFO) 2 Roel Wenceslao said the station received a call around 12:50 a.m. A thick blaze was already coming out from the building when fire fighters arrived.

“We made sure the fire is contained within the building avoiding it to affect nearby structures,” Wenceslao said.

Ground commander SFO4 Gerardo Ygoña said the fire was already contained at 4:45 a.m., after four hours of combatting the blaze. Smoke from the building is still visible until Sunday afternoon.

Company guard on-duty Marjun Elorsa said it was past 12 midnight when he noticed thick flames coming out from the ceiling of the building. He quickly woke up the duty maintenance personnel who then shut off the store’s main switch.

Mayor Richard Gomez, who arrived at the fire scene, bared the initial plan to demolish the whole building for safety concerns. He added that cracks of the damaged building were already visible.

The cost of the damage due to the incident has yet to be determined.(Elvie Roman Roa/PNA)