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4 injured while fighting blaze engulfing abandoned theater

FOUR firefighters were injured while attempting to contain the flames that ripped through an abandoned movie theater building on Friday, May 1. 

According to Fire Senior Inspector Frances Mae Sendrijas, spokesperson for the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) XI, the fire began around 6:36 a.m. at the New Davao Theater building along Claro M. Recto Avenue in Barangay 35-D. 

Flames quickly spread to neighboring abandoned structures, the Davao Hotel and Davao Electronic Center, causing at least P15 million in damage. 

Firefighters from BFP, Barangay Firefighter Volunteers, and Central 911 responded swiftly and extinguished the blaze by 11:20 a.m.

“There were debris from the structures that fell [and collapsed on the responders],” Sendrijas explained.

Fortunately, the firefighters escaped fatal injuries but they did sustain second-degree burns, swelling, and puncture wounds.

Investigators from the C.B. Bangoy Sr. Fire Station continue to determine the cause of the incident.

The New Davao Theater, along with other cinemas like Lawaan, Odeon, Eagle, and Cine Rama, once lined C.M. Recto Street, serving as popular entertainment destinations in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the rise of shopping malls with cinemas led to their decline and eventual abandonment.


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