Fire hits Land Bank Malate

Posted at 07/24/12 9:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Employees of Land Bank's main office in Malate, Manila were ordered to evacuate after fire broke out in their building past 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Chief Inspector Ron Geronimo, South Battalion Commander of the Manila Fire Department, said a generator caught fire at the building's basement.

The generator is located at a substation of the bank, which powers the computers of Land Bank.

Employees said smoke was seen spreading to the ground floor before the fire alarm sounded, prompting them to evacuate as they were trained by frequent fire drills.

The fire, which reached the second alarm, was declared out at 4:40 p.m.

The bank’s corporate communications office said operations were not affected by the incident.

The bank’s cash vaults were automatically shut down, protecting the money they contain.

Several armored vehicles were also transferred to the street as a precautionary measure because the vehicles were parked at the basement.

Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the fire.

As of posting, power at the main building is shut down while authorities conduct an inspection of electrical wirings on all 36 floors.

Employees are not allowed to enter the premises to get their vehicles and personal belongings for safety reasons. -- Reports from Chiara Zambrano and Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News