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Haze alert raised as Cebu City shopping mall burns

A haze alert was hoisted to warn motorists and residents against possible harmful effects of smoke coming from the burning Metro Ayala mall. Twitter/The Freeman

MANILA, Philippines — Haze alert has been raised in the vicinity of the Cebu Business Park Saturday as fire continues to raze a shopping mall there.

According to Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management chief Nagiel Bañacia, the said alert was hoisted to warn motorists and residents against possible harmful effects of smoke coming from the burning Metro Ayala mall.

As of 12 noon, firefighters are still dousing the blaze.

In a statement, Ayala Center Cebu said a smoke was detected at around 9:30 p.m. on Friday from the Metro Ayala building, adding that all customers and personnel were safely evacuated.

Bañacia said the fire started on the third floor of the establishment, which houses the toy stockroom, and reached the top floor of the establishment.

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The mall’s sprinkler system didn’t work when the fire broke out, Bañacia added.

The Metro Ayala blaze was raised to Task Force Bravo as of 8:54 a.m. — 12 hours since the fire started. 

The fire is not yet under control but it has been contained from spreading to other parts of the building.

The Cebu mall blaze happened less than a month after a deadly fire engulfed a shopping mall in Davao City that killed 38 people. — with reports from the Freeman

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