A fire of undetermined origin razed a mall in Manila's busy Divisoria district before dawn Wednesday, snarling traffic in the area.
The fire hit the ground floor of the Cluster 1 building of the Tutuban Mall and reached Task Force Alpha as of 4 a.m., radio dzBB's Rodil Vega reported.
Firefighters had to use breathing apparatuses in entering the area as the smoke there was very thick. The report said the fire had hit an area that stored flammable textiles.
"Kulang tayo ng ventilation (There is lack of ventilation for the firefighters penetrating the building)," said Chief Inspector Bonifacio Carta of the Manila Fire District.
Power was cut to the mall, with firefighters using portable lights to navigate their way.
Initial investigation showed the fire started at 12:41 a.m.
Portions of roads near the mall, including Jose Abad Santos, were closed to traffic before dawn. — ELR, GMA News