Fifth-Alarm Fire Engulfs Commercial Area and School in Manila

A massive fire in Manila's commercial district causes significant damage, prompting the Paco Catholic School to shift to online classes. The incident highlights the need for improved fire safety measures in densely populated urban areas.

Nitish Verma
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Fifth-Alarm Fire Engulfs Commercial Area and School in Manila

Fifth-Alarm Fire Engulfs Commercial Area and School in Manila

A massive fire broke out on Pedro Gil Avenue in Manila on April 20, 2024, affecting a commercial area and parts of Paco Catholic School. The blaze, which started around 8 PM near the Paco Market, quickly escalated to a fifth-alarm fire as it spread to neighboring establishments made of light materials.

Firefighters from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) responded to the scene and battled the flames for over two hours before declaring the fire under control at 10:28 PM. The fire was eventually extinguished at 1:30 AM the following day. According to initial estimates, the fire caused approximately P1.6 million in property damage.

The Paco Catholic School was among the structures affected by the blaze. School administrators announced that classes would be conducted online starting April 23 until further notice to ensure the safety of students and faculty while the extent of the damage is assessed and repairs are made.

Why this matters: The fifth-alarm fire in Manila highlights the vulnerability of densely populated urban areas to rapidly spreading fires. The incident also underscores the importance of fire safety measures and the readiness of emergency response teams in minimizing the impact of such disasters on communities and infrastructure.

During the firefighting operations, one fire volunteer sustained minor injuries and was promptly treated at the scene. The BFP has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the fire and assess the full extent of the damage. "We will conduct a thorough investigation to identify the origin and cause of the fire," stated a BFP spokesperson. "Our priority is to ensure the safety of the affected residents and businesses while working to prevent similar incidents in the future."

Key Takeaways

  • Massive fire broke out on Pedro Gil Ave, Manila on April 20, 2024, affecting commercial area.
  • Fire escalated to 5th alarm, causing P1.6M in property damage, before being extinguished.
  • Paco Catholic School affected, classes moved online until damage assessed and repairs made.
  • Fire highlights vulnerability of dense urban areas, importance of fire safety and emergency response.
  • BFP investigating cause, prioritizing safety of affected residents and preventing future incidents.