Fire erupts in St. Thomas Building, disrupts Sulong Arriba preparations

By: Thea Divina
May 29, 2024

A fire broke out at the mezzanine floor of the St. Thomas Building hours before the annual Sulong Arriba. Photo courtesy of The LANCE & Bloodsaypa Fire Volunteer.

A fire broke out on the second floor of the St. Thomas Building at around 2 PM, interrupting the preparations for the annual graduation rites, Sulong Arriba and Baccalaureate Mass. 

According to the Department of Student Affairs (DSA), the fire originated in the multi-purpose room of the building’s mezzanine level. Fortunately, no classes or offices were in use at the time of the fire. 

Although the fire was contained within the mezzanine area, smoke spread to the third floor, affecting the hallway. The DSA said there were no casualties.

However, eyewitnesses and a report from Manila Bulletin states a man was trapped on the second floor of the said building during the incident. He was immediately rescued and was safely extracted around 2:40 PM. 

A total of 12 trucks responded to the scene while students, staff, and visitors were immediately evacuated outside of the Colegio.

DSA Directress Catherine Sanchez says initial assessments suggest the cause may be electrical in nature. Though as of writing, the area is still under investigation.

"Ngayon, mukhang fire out na and they're just doing the investigation to identify the source of the fire," Sanchez said. 

She further states that the authorities from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) have yet to issue a clearance, while the entire second floor of the St. Thomas Building remains off-limits for safety reasons. Efforts are underway to secure important archives located under the mezzanine area.

The Colegio subsequently announced that the Sulong Arriba will continue at 5:00 PM followed by the Baccalaureate Mass at 6:00 PM today at the St. Thomas grounds.