Billboard inside shopping center catches fire, causing panic among shoppers-A A +A
Thursday, March 22, 2012
MANY people panicked when a fire occurred inside a mall in Barangay Sangi, Toledo City early last night.
Toledo City and Balamban firefighters put out the fire, which damaged a billboard at the Gaisano Grand Mall, in 10 minutes.
Senior Insp. Randy Mendaros, Toledo City fire marshal, said the blaze only damaged a billboard on one of the mall’s walls and six transformers.
He said it is possible that one of the fluorescent lamps of the billboard overheated or an electrical short circuit may have started the fire.
Mendaros said no one was injured in the incident, even though most of the mall goers panicked and raced toward the exit.
He said the mall’s personnel, who underwent fire and earthquake drills early this month, calmly went outside.
The mall’s personnel told Mendaros that the billboard was worth about P10,000. They still have to determine the value of the transformers.
Janice Badayos, a mall employees, said she was busy putting bar codes on items when she heard people screaming.
“Ni-diretso ko’g gawas sa bodega pagkadungog nako sa syagit ug sa pagtingog sa fire alarm (I immediately went out of the stock room when I heard the screaming and the fire alarm),” Badayos said.
She said the mall’s management promptly called the fire department. Mendaros said the fire station received the alarm at 6:15 p.m.
Badayos said people went into panic and rushed toward the exit. Children were crying.
She said mall personnel helped shoppers get out “because it is our company’s first
The Toledo City Fire Station said the mall is safe and can resume operations today. KAL (With Careen L. Malahay, contributor)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2012.