A MASSIVE fire tore through Manila’s historic post office building overnight, slightly injuring one person and razing the nearly 100-year-old landmark in Manila, police and postal officials said Monday, May 22, 2023.

The fire started around 11:40 p.m. Sunday, May 21, in the basement of the neoclassical, five-story building in Liwasang Bonifacio and was brought under control at 7:22 a.m. Monday, May 22, more than seven hours after it began, firefighters said.

Around 80 fire trucks had to respond to control the blaze, which was put under general alarm.

GMA’s Unang Balita report stated that the Manila Central Post Office management could not confirm yet if the fire destroyed the letters and parcels inside the building.

Postmaster General Luis Carlos, in a statement, said the Philippine Postal Corporation will look for temporary offices, as the building was gutted by the fire.

He assured that it is business as usual in branches of the Philippine Postal Corporation in the country.

An investigation was underway to determine the cause of the fire and what was damaged, officials said.

The Manila Central Post Office was one of Manila’s busiest office buildings but was closed when the fire started. The building was the country’s main mail-sorting and distribution hub and was the central office for the Philippine Postal Corporation.

Postal service in the Philippines began during the Spanish colonial period with horse-riding mail couriers.

The building now recognized as a national landmark was built in 1926 with high columns in the traditional neoclassical style. It was severely damaged during World War II and was rebuilt in 1946.

It is located along the Pasig River and on a main intersection of the capital's key roads. (AP/LMY)