Three successive fire incidents were reported to have happened inside the Ateneo de Davao campus around 6 to 10 PM last night, July 3. The cause of the fire is still unconfirmed but there are allegations that the incidents are intentional.
The small fire incidents hit the male CRs at the first and second floor Del Rosario Building, and fifth floor Finster building.
Jay Araiz, one of the school guards who responded to the incidents, said that at around 6:18 PM he was asked to go to the male CR at the first floor of Del Rosario building as smoke was reported to be coming out of the CR. When he reached there together with one of the chief security guards, they witnessed the plastic trashcan already on fire.
“Pag-abot namo sa CR sa lalaki, ang trashcan na plastic nagsiga na ug maayo,” Mr. Araiz mentioned.
Hours after, at around 8:39 PM, he was asked to cordon the area around the male CR at the fifth floor Finster building after another small fire incident.
An Incident Report dated July 4, 2015 from school guard Dapan, who was stationed near the area, indicated that he heard a student complaining about smelling and witnessing a smoke from the boy’s CR. When the guard went to check, he saw a trashcan already burning, and immediately sprayed water to neutralize the fire.
The third incident occurred at around 9:50 PM. Mr. Araiz, along with other school guards, went to the second floor Del Rosario building to respond to another report that smoke was coming out of the male CR of the said building.
When the school guards reached the area, the fire on the wall and the floor of the CR was already out.
“Wala nagdugay ang siga kay murag thinner ang gigamit sa pagsunog,” Mr. Araiz said.
He also mentioned that they tried to look for evidences. They saw burnt matchsticks scattered around the blackened floor.
Mr. Araiz also noticed that the high voltage sign on the circuit breaker outside the said CR was partly washed out and thinner was splashed on the floor, along with some unused matchsticks. He suspected that someone might have tried to burn it.
“Murag tinuyuan gyud siya kay parehas ang sistema sa pagsunog,” Mr. Araiz mentioned.
Some people who saw the smoke coming out reported that someone entered the CR, allegedly a student, who poured something on the CR’s wall and floor before the fire occurred.
Due to the said incidents, students were advised to vacate the campus. However, no fire alarm was heard to alert the students.
“Dili man gud ingon-ana ka grabe,” Mr. Araiz said. “Nabalaka lang mi kay pila ka beses nahitabo.”
Officers from San Pedro and Sta. Ana police station went to school early this morning to investigate the said incident. The Bureau of Fire Protection was also investigating the occurrence. It was already reported to the Physical Plant Office. At present, there was still no advice from the office.
There is still no confirmation as to whether what happened is really an arson incident.
No one was hurt due to the said happening. It also caused no major property damage.