MANILA The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) has formed a group of arson investigators to focus on the fire that gutted Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino in downtown Ermita in Manila City over the weekend.
In a twopage order signed by BFP Chief Director Leonard BaAago, six members of the Fire Arson Investigation Division (FID) of the BFP National Headquarters were designated to conduct an indepth investigation, including technical and forensic analysis, of the fire incident.
Designated were Chief Insp. Romeo Pepito Jr., Senior Insp. Bayani Zambrano, Senior Fire Officer (SFO) 2 Eduardo Bacones, SFO1 Reward Abucay, Fire Officer (FO) 3 Maylene Maximo, and FO1 Rina Alcoreza.
The BFP will determine the cause of the fire and whether or not the hotel's water sprinklers and fire alarm were operational when the fire occurred.
The BFP also directed the local fire arson investigators in the National Capital Region and the City of Manila to help in the probe.
BaAago ordered that appropriate charges be filed against those who would be found liable for the incident.
Five people, mostly staff of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation operating in the fivestar hotelcasino, perished in the fire, while at least 14 others were injured.
The BFP said the blaze started at the casino area, which was under renovation, at 9:52 a.m. on Sunday, and declared fire out only at 10:56 a.m. Monday.
The firefighters described the first seven floors of the 22storey building as "totally damaged".
Source: Philippine News Agency