(Metro News) DILG chief orders BFP to investigate Caloocan mall fire

March 19, 2012 7:31 am 

MANILA, March 18 – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo formally instructed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on Sunday to investigate the cause of the fire that gutted the Ever Gotesco Grand Central Mall in Caloocan City over the weekend.

Robredo directed Chief Supt. Carlito Romero, BFP director for plans and standards development, to lead the investigation.

The DILG chief issued the order after Caloocan Mayor Enrico Echiverri claimed that there was something "strange" about the fire as it required a full day to completely put it out.

“A thorough investigation is needed here, given the fact that the firefighters needed a extensive amount of time to subdue the blaze,” Echiverri said.

He explained that the Caloocan local government maintains interest in the mall because its management still owes taxes amounting to P100 million.

Echiverri also wants the DILG to look into the possibility that the fire "was indeed staged" so that Gotesco Grand Central could escape its obligation.

According to Romero, they will create a special team for this and it will closely work with BFP’s anti-arson task force.

The fire at Ever Gotesco Grand Central started at 10:45 p.m. Friday. It was only placed under control at 11 p.m. Saturday. (PNA) scs/PFN


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