ZAMBOANGA City -- The 66-year-old Brebeuf Gymnasium was razed while three other buildings were partially damaged in a more than two-hour fire that hit the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
Chief Insp. Clint Cha, local fire marshal, told the Philippines News Agency that the fire broke out around 7:30 a.m. Thursday that rapidly engulfed the old gymnasium, which is made of wood, and the three nearby buildings.
Fr. Karel San Juan, ADZU president, said among those completely burned aside from the gymnasium were the computer and science laboratories, the university band office, and the school canteen.
Also damaged were the law school offices, library, classrooms and faculty workrooms and offices.
Karel said that the students and staffs were immediately evacuated to the front and back fields of the university campus at the height of the fire.
Cha said they have yet to ascertain the cause of the fire that was placed under control by fire fighters at 9:48 a.m.
Cha said also to be determined were the worth of properties destroyed during the incident.
Meanwhile, Karel said the Senior High School and College classes are suspended until further notice.
He expressed his gratitude to the fire fighters as well as those from other sectors who assisted the firemen in extinguishing the fire.
Fire volunteers and water tankers from different local business establishments, shipping firm, and the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) supplied water to the firemen during the incident.
“We are grateful for your prayers and expressions of sympathy and support at this very sad time in our University. We will ask your help so we can recover and reconstruct from this tragedy. Thank you,” Karel added. (PNA)
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