THE Interagency Anti-Arson Task Force (IATF), the body in-charge to conduct the investigation on the massive NCCC Mall fire, has submitted the final report of its investigation on the fire incident to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
IATF deputy team leader and spokesperson Fire Superintendent Jerry Candido confirmed Monday, March 5, that they already sent to the office of the acting secretary of DILG their final report about the fire incident that claimed 38 lives.
"Yes, this morning," Candido said, meaning Monday, March 5.
The task force is composed of representatives from the DILG, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Davao, considering that the coverage of the fire was beyond the jurisdiction of BFP regional office.
In an interview on March 1, during the opening of the Fire Prevention Month, Senior Superintendent Wilberto Rico Neil Kwan Tiu said the task force had previously requested for an extension for the submission of its full report on the fire incident due to the necessary documents that need to be completed.
The Davao City Government is also waiting for the result of the investigation to look for possible improvement on fire safety. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will be asking for the copy so that the City could also learn from it to avoid the repeat of the same incident.
"In fact, I advised some of the management pag naibigay na po yan sa DILG ay pwede pong mag-request ang City Government to know ano po ba iyung nakita, ano ang resulta para maiwasan natin yong same incident (if the report has already been submitted to the DILG, the City Government can then request to know what has been revealed, to know the result to prevent the same incident from happening again)," he added.
The fire incident burned down the homegrown shopping mall located in Maa, Davao City, last December 23, 2017, two days before Christmas.
The incident claimed 37 lives of Survey Sampling International (SSI) employees and one employee of the mall after they were trapped at the fourth floor where the call center office is located. Initial investigation of the task force revealed that the cause of the fire was electrical short circuit that originated at the third floor of the mall, as manifested on the physical evidences they gathered.
Some of the violations they noted were the alarm system of the mall was not interconnected to the SSI office, which was the reason the SSI employees were informed late and by the time they knew about the fire, the smoke in their office already thickened.
Aside from that, the fire exit did not conform to the fire bureau's standard and the fire suppression or sprinkler did not function during the time of the incident.
The demolition of the mall is already in the pipeline after the management applied for demolition permit. It will start after all utility lines such as electric, gas, telephone and water installations have been disconnected. However, no schedule yet has been set as to the date it will kick off.
The public has been complaining about the foul odor from the burnt establishment which may cause adverse health effect for those who could inhale it.