The Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CCDRRMO) on Saturday projected it would take two days to control the fire which broke out at the toy department’s strockroom on the third floor of Metro Ayala Cebu just as the mall was about to close Friday night.

Employees and customers of the department store, which is within the Ayala Center Cebu mall, safely got out of the establishment when the fire started.

The Cebu City Fire Department said they received the alarm past 9 p.m. Friday and raised the fire alarm to Task Force Alpha as thick black smoke continued to billow from the stockroom.

Task Force Alpha calls for all fire stations in Metro Cebu to respond to the fire alarm.

The Metro Ayala Emergency Brigade Team and Ayala Center Cebu Emergency Brigade Team also helped the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in putting out the blaze along with some volunteer firefighters.

As of 11 p.m. Friday, firefighters were still struggling to penetrate the thick black smoke engulfing the building and could not get to the third floor.

By 3 a.m. Saturday, the fourth floor of Metro Ayala eventually collapsed.

As of 12 noon Saturday, the fire had reached the second level, prompting the BFP to raise the fire alarm further to Task Force Bravo, which calls for the deployment of all BFP personnel and equipment in the entire Cebu Province to the scene.

The CCDRRMO chief Nagiel Bañacia advised everyone living near the Cebu Business Park with cardio-pulmonary problem to temporarily evacuate or transfer to a safer place due to heavy hazardous or toxic fumes from the on-going fire at Metro Ayala. (PNA)

Photo Credit: CCDRRMO