Fire hits Star City, temporarily closing Philippines' oldest radio station
One of the country's top news and entertainment radio stations, dzRH, went off the air after fire struck an amusement park in Pasay City on Wednesday where the Manila Broadcasting Corp. is located.
A report from the Southern Police District ( SPD) said the fire started around 12:20 am inside the Star City and reached Task Force Bravo around 2:25am.
SPD said around 70 firetrucks from Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) responded within Metro Manila backed up by fire volunteer groups.
Around 4:08 am, the fire was placed under control. The Pasay City Fire Station said fire was put out at 2:02 pm.
"Initially, the fire reached Task Force Bravo that originated in the stock room but investigators will still have to determine the cause of fire," BFP spokesperson, Chief Inspector Jude Delos Reyes, told The Daily Manila Shimbun in a text message.
Delos Reyes said mopping operations continues.
In a radio interview, Pasay City Fire Marshal, Superintendent Paul Pili said they are looking at two possible causes.
"One is electrical and the second is arson," he said.
Pili said 80 percent of the building was destroyed, including its attractions but those inside were not affected.
"It looks like the fire started in different areas... simultaneous burning," he said.
He said investigation is ongoing on where is the origin, what caused the fire and estimated damage.
Asked if they were informed about a post online saying the amusement park will be vanish in few days, Pili said the owner told them about it.
"The post was dated September 29... it will be included in the investigation since we have Twitter headquarters here in the country, we can check who posted it," he said.
"We will check if this is (from) an employee here at Star City," he added.
The Manila Broadcasting Corp. (MBC) said in its Facebook page dzRH will go back on-air within 48 hours but its FM radio stations, Love Radio, Yes the Best and Easy Rock will continue airing.
DzRH, the oldest radio station in the Philippines, has won awards for its news gathering and for producing dramas. It was set up as kzRH in 1939 before it was acquired by the Elizalde brothers who put up Manila Broadcasting Co. after 1946.
No casualties were reported but the Star City management said operation will be back on 2020.
"Star City, which was hardest hit by the fire, will be closed through the Christmas season," it said.
The 35,000 square meter amusement park was located near the seaside, Manila Bay and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Ella Dionisio/DMS