THE foreign fire and forensics investigators from the United States began their separate investigation Tuesday morning inside the New City Commercial Center (NCCC) Mall of Davao in Maa, Davao City.

Inter-agency Anti-Arson Task Force spokesperson Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Fire Superintendent Jerry Candido said the private investigators were hired by NCCC management to conduct their own investigation on the burned-out structure.

The two-man team is composed of James M. Lord, Senior Fire and Forensic Engineer, and Stephen M. Hill, Senior Fire Protection Engineer from Jensen Hughes Specialty Engineers, Consultants & Scientists based in Washington, DC.

He said that the third party investigator paid them a visit early morning Tuesday and they were briefed on the situation. The BFP personnel also accompanied them to the fire scene.

Candido said that the task force has already finished the investigation, citing electrical short circuit as the cause of fire which originated at the third floor of the mall.

He, however, welcomes the decision of the mall owners to hire another team to examine the fire grounds.

“We do not know what is really the reason because NCCC Mall ang nag-hire sa kanila. We respect the right of the NCCC mall to conduct their own investigation. We do not have a problem with that,” he said.

The fatal fire incident hit the homegrown shopping mall on December 23 last year, claiming the lives of 37 employees of Research Now SSI and one employee of the mall.

Considering the extent of the fire and damage, the investigation was carried out by the BFP central office.