The Inter-Agency Anti-Arson Task Force (IATF) has confirmed that electrical short circuit caused the huge fire at NCCC Davao Mall Fire on December 23 which took 38 lives and ate up valuable property and merchandize estimated to be worth P1.6 billion.
This was bared by IATF spokesperson Fire Sr. Supt. Jerome Candido in a telephone interview on Thursday.
“Our short circuit theory is now confirmed through a scientific proof found after conducting tests in the agency’s arson Laboratory,” Candido said.
Candido said on Wednesday night, the IATF received result of the arson laboratory test from the physical pieces of evidence gathered from the fire razed mall. The pieces of evidence pointed positively to electrical short-circuit as the cause.
“From the physical evidence that we brought to Manila, electrical arcing traces were found on the galvanized tray which means that there was short circuit happened on the electrical wirings placed on the tray,” he said.
Electric arc or arcing is an electrical breakdown that produces an ongoing electrical discharge. Unwanted arcs in electrical circuits can cause fires.
He said the investigating team found screws and nails on the galvanized tray which the team believed that this caused the short circuit.
“We believe that those sharp things destroyed the insulation of the electric wires, and then the two wires stuck together becoming the reason of the short circuit,” he said.
Candido said the destruction of the insulators on electrical wire happened because of the practice of its contractor nailing the galvanized trays.
“The practice of the contractors has been seen in other parts of the mall since there are holes on the trays,” he said.
He said the team is almost done on probing the cause of fire and they will now focus on investigating the people whose actuations caused the fire incident.
“Starting today (Thursday) until the end of this investigation, we will focus now on our investigation to our firelighters, our inspectors, business owners, contractors and anyone we see based on the documents that could be liable on the fire incident that killed 37 confirmed and one missing,” he said.
Candido said the task force will reveal its recommendation right after they shall have completed the investigation.
“Later on we will announce the people who will be liable of the incident and our recommendations to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future,” he said