AN EXPLOSION at one of the Multi-deck Carpark restaurants last April 23 disrupted summer classes at the College of Accountancy, and stopped operations of neighboring stalls for two hours.

Based on initial reports, the fire that started at 9:11 a.m. was due to an overheated exhaust duct at Sticks and Bowls restaurant located at the carpark’s ground floor.

Chief Arson Investigator Major Bonifacio Carta said the fire reached second alarm, and caused damage worth around P20,000. Electricity at stalls beside Sticks and Bowls was cut.

The UST security office said no one was hurt from the fire that lasted for half an hour.

Carta said the carpark’s ground floor was immediately vacated, with Accountancy students at the fourth floor ordered to evacuate.

Around 15 to 25 fire trucks from the Manila Fire Department, together with fire volunteers, responded to the incident.

“Station 12 (Sampaloc Fire Station) received the phone call from UST. When the fire alarm was raised, other fire teams automatically responded,” Carta said.

Eric Sulais, an employee of Sticks and Bowls, said the explosion was triggered by smoke coming from Hotshots, another restaurant beside Sticks and Bowls.

“I was preparing to cook when I noticed smoke coming from Hotshots. I tried to turn off the [exhaust] breaker, but the fire spread quickly,” Sulais said.

The Manila Fire Department declared the fire out at 9:41 a.m. Hotshots decided to close shop for the day. Adrienne Jesse A. Maleficio with reports from Rommel Marvin C. Rio

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