By Franz Jonathan de la Fuente
Classes being held at Palma Hall (A.S.) have yet to resume after Chancellor Sergio Cao extended today’s temporary class suspension to tomorrow as the Chemistry Pavilion briefly reignited this afternoon.
Mass Communication Rep. Nigel Patrick Cornel confirmed in a text message today that classes at A.S. and the adjoining Chemistry and Physics Pavilions will remain suspended pending a safety assessment of the area.
Initial investigations from the Quezon City Bureau of Fire Protection have not yielded any cause for the fire. There were no injuries or fatalities.
A fifth-alarm fire hit the Chemistry Pavilion 11 p.m. last night only two days after the academic year began, later spreading to the adjacent Physics Pavilion. The U.P. Institute of Chemistry is housed at the Chemistry Pavilion.
The nearby Biology Pavilion, although not affected, was similarly closed.
Chemistry classes have been suspended until Friday next week, June 18. Further announcements regarding class resumption will be made before Tuesday.
The Q.C. BFP and other volunteer firefighters returned to the Chemistry Pavilion 3 p.m. today after a portion of the building was reported to have reignited.
According to UP Diliman Police officer-in-charge Maj. Bernie V. Baltazar, administration officials requested that a Q.C. BFP fire truck be placed on standby tonight at the Pavilions in case of a possible re-ignition.
The 3 p.m. fire was put out within 2 hours. A section of Quirino Avenue was closed to traffic to allow MERALCO maintenance staff to inspect the power lines fronting the Pavilions.
Passers-by were asked to stay away from the Pavilions due to the toxic fumes from the chemistry laboratories; those who had to enter to retrieve items donned protective gear for the face and body.