THE Grinch came late and burned our Christmas tree.

The towering four-story structure became the center of a bonfire Tuesday evening with suspects still being tailed by authorities, with no injuries and fatalities from the blaze.

Baguio City Fire Station chief Investigator of Intelligence SFO3 Bernard Bravo said two suspects were seen by the security guard of Burnham Park who possibly intended and caused the burning.

“Allegedly may mga nakitang two persons who run during the fire incident, kaya ang initial ay parang sinadya,” Bravo said.

Architect Aris Go of 90’s Design Studio with Philippine Treasures designed the tree with a base of scrap steel from the City Building Official's Office of Baguio (CBAO).

“We are happy that the tree has given joy and pleasure to people for the past month. It is just really sad that this thing happened but we will continue with our vision to give quality design to the people,” Go said.

Go worked with a budget half of what was set for its construction estimating a little over P500,000 for the annual decorating expense.

“Parang ang purpose ay somewhat to destroy the Christmas tree parang ganun lang eh,” Bravo added.

It was the first time the Christmas tree was placed in the Rose Garden area which was seen to be ideal for people to gather around, sing carols or take pictures.

The BFP said the burning cannot be attributed from the electrical wiring since the Christmas lights were already removed before the incident.

“Walang puwedeng panggalingan ng sunog doon unless kung talagang naglagay ng isang bagay na puwedeng mag-cause ng sunog. Hindi natin alam kung sadyang sinindihan ng lighter o posporo kasi wala namang nakitang evidence during the ocular inspection,” Bravo said.

Prior to the fire incident, personnel from CBAO removed electrical wiring from the tree, ruling out faulty connections as the source of fire.

CBAO is now accounting the total damage. (Ian Jefrey Addatu with Maria Elena Catajan)