Fire razes Caloocan po­lice sta­tion

The Philippine Star - - METRO - By MARC JAYSON CAYABYAB

A fire razed the Caloocan City po­lice sta­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing, re­duc­ing to ashes nu­mer­ous case fold­ers, in­clud­ing cases of deaths un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion or ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings.

But all is not lost for these cases: the North­ern Po­lice Dis­trict (NPD), which has ju­ris­dic­tion over the city po­lice sta­tion, has pho­to­copies of these case fold­ers lost to the fire, ac­cord­ing to the Caloocan po­lice chief Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Je­mar Mod­e­qui­llo.

He de­nied that the fire was in any way in­tended to de­stroy pieces of ev­i­dence.

“We can­not do other­wise, ex­cept to rise from the ashes,” Mod­e­qui­llo said.

Caloocan city fire marshall Su­per­in­ten­dent Gary Alto said the fire reached first alarm at around 4:30 a.m. and reached fourth at around 5 a.m. It was put out an hour later.

Most of the of­fices in the build­ing were razed, even though the po­lice sta­tion is just be­side the Caloocan City cen­tral fire sta­tion.

The fire spread quickly be­cause the ceil­ing of the sta­tion was built with light ma­te­ri­als like wood and ply­wood, Alto said.

Wit­nesses said the fire started be­tween the of­fice of the Scene of the Crime Op­er­a­tives (SOCO) and the press room of the North­ern Me­dia Group.

The fire also trig­gered the am­mu­ni­tion stored in the po­lice sta­tion. Re­porters heard shots as fire­men tried to put out the flames in one of the rooms.

SOCO per­son­nel laid down the charred re­mains of pis­tols, ar­malites, re­volvers, im­pro­vised shot­guns and ma­chine guns, which were mostly pieces of ev­i­dence lost to the fire. Even po­lice mo­tor­cy­cles were charred.

Chief In­spec­tor Ilus­tre Men­doza, city po­lice deputy for ad­min­is­tra­tion, said the af­fected of­fices – the crime lab­o­ra­tory, sta­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion di­vi­sion, fi­nance, sup­ply, ad­min­is­tra­tive and po­lice com­mu­nity re­la­tions – will be housed in the nearby po­lice mul­ti­pur­pose hall.

Boy SAN­toS

Crime scene in­ves­ti­ga­tors take an in­ven­tory of firearms af­ter a fire broke out at the Caloocan City po­lice head­quar­ters yes­ter­day morn­ing.

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