Tutuban Mall still burning after more than 20 hours
The online news portal of TV5
(UPDATE 4 - 9:40 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines - The fire that broke out in Tutuban Mall has continued to creep through the establishment in Tondo, Manila Wednesday evening more than 20 hours after it hit the area.
As of 9:05 p.m., the blaze at the shopping center was elevated to Task Force Delta, the third to the last highest alarm level.
The fire started at the mall’s Cluster A around 12:41 a.m., reportedly at one of the many stalls selling garments, and quickly spread.
By daylight, the blaze had reached Task Force Charlie, which means all available firefighting units in Metro Manila were required to respond.
Firefighters have been having a hard time fighting the flames after they ran out of oxygen, which they need to penetrate the thick smoke that has brought visibility around the area of the blaze to near zero.
Earlier, Chief Inspector Bonifacio Carta of the Manila Fire District said firefighters were prevented from entering locked stalls to get to the fire as it crept up into the ceiling and the mall's second floor, because of the heavy-duty padlocks used to secure the marchandise.
Fire authorities raised the alarm level to Task Force Charlie, which means that fire trucks from nearby areas in Metro Manila are required to assist in putting out the fire.
The area surrounding the mall fell to near-zero visibility due to the smoke. According to firefighters, burning clothes and other fabric materials serve as fuel to the fire which has spread to the second floor of the mall.