4 rescued in P15M cinema, store fire PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 11:46

Four people were rescued while an estimated P15 million worth of properties went up in smoke in a more than four-hour fire that hit an old moviehouse and a Korean-operated store downtown early Monday

The fire broke out around 4:55 a.m. at the Viva Cinema, — known as Majestic Theater  in the 1960s and 70s  — just beside the Zamboanga City Fire Department.

Chief Insp. Clint Cha, Zamboanga City Fire District (ZCFD) marshal, said the fire spread to the four-storey building occupied by the Unisales Metro Zamboanga that sells varied commodities such as school items, clothes and textiles.

Cha said the fire started near the storeroom of the cinema’s orchestra section based on the testimonies of one of the four employees the firemen rescued.

Cha said the ZCFD first responders have managed to rescue the four employees although the blaze was already uncontrollable considering the cinema was an old building.

“The fire was not visible outside since the cinema is an enclosed building,” he said.

Only a wall divides  the ill-fated cinema from the ZCFD headquarters as well as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) regional office.

Flames spread to the Unisales store after the firewall collapsed.

Cha said they encountered difficulty putting off the flames as most of the department store’s stocks were textile products.

He said they have to use Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a highly efficient type of fire suppressant agent, to be able to extinguish the fire.

He said they declared fire out at 9:20 a.m. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Flames roared despite all efforts exerted by the firemen along with several water tankers contributed by different companies and non-government organizations.

While firefighters were concentrating in the movie house, flames quickly spread to the Unisale Store where store goods went up in smoke.

Firemen used ladder to go up on the roof of the two establishments to bring the water hose and some of them used chemical to pour on the flames.

Fire Marshall Cha said that “fire out” was declared around 9:20 a.m. — With report from Dan Toribio Jr.