MANILA, Philippines — A fire of still unknown origin broke out at the Faculty Center building of the University Philippines Diliman (UPD) in Quezon City early Friday morning.
According to the statement of UPD Chancellor Michael Tan, the fire started at the building at about 1:15 a.m. and was put under control at about 4:40 a.m.
Security guards on duty reported that the fire started in the third floor and eventually descended to the lower floors.
“When I got to the site at about 1:45 a.m., the entire third floor was burning and about half an hour later, began to spread to the second floor. The fire eventually consumed half of the second floor and a small part of the first floor,” Tan said.
Although there were no injuries or casualties, Tan noted the books, research notes, and archival materials that were engulfed in flames as “incalculable” losses.
The damaged building housed the faculty of all the departments of the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), as well as the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP), the department of history, anthropology, linguistics, and philosophy.
“There was much grieving from faculty, staff and students who rushed to the site,” said the chancellor.
Following the incident, the entire Faculty Center building and parking area are currently off-limits to allow an investigation from the Bureau of Fire Protection.
Classes in the CAL building were also suspended.
Tan assured that the deans of CAL and CSSP are working out arrangements for temporary faculty offices.
The UPD chancellor directed all units in Diliman to reassess building policies, particularly access to rooms at night; strict enforcement of all lights out, and all appliances unplugged at night.
Tan likewise urged the Diliman community to be more vigilant in its fire prevention measures.
“Although the Bureau of Fire Protection recently concluded an inspection of all our buildings, everyone is enjoined to conduct another evaluation and procure whatever is needed for fire prevention and/or immediate responses to fires,” said Tan.
Last year, two fires broke out on the Diliman campus, destroying the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association (CASAA) Center in June and the UP Alumni Center in July. Filane Mikee CervantesPNA/northboundasia.com