MALOLOS City, Bulacan, June 13, 2014 —A raging fire burned beyond recognition large portions of Malolos cathedral’s Immaculate Conception School for Boys (ICSB) in Barangay Santo Rosario Friday at past 3 a.m., but the centuries-old church itself is safely intact.
In an interview over radio station DZMM, Malolos Cathedral’s Monsignor Pablo Legaspi shared that the old school building was built in 1937 mostly of wood which explained why it caught fire so easily.
In a Facebook post later that day, Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros expressed his thanks to those who prayed for the fire’s immediate containment.
“Thanks to all FB friends for your prayers and concern. The fire has been contained. Thanks be to God it did not spread to the buildings around. Sad to say, the ICSB old building is completely burned down,” he said.
According to Oliveros, one third of the new building was burned, while the Cathedral itself was spared except for some burn marks on the dome ceiling caused by sparks.
He also thanked God because the MCST [Missionary Catechists of St Therese], the Diocesan Pastoral Center and the Bishop’s residence were untouched by the fire.
Local Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) officers reported that the fire reached the third alarm despite the ongoing rainfall in the area.
With over 20 destroyed grade-school classrooms, authorities assess the total damage at an estimated P20 million.
The fire was easily contained leaving the high school department building and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Malolos Cathedral) unscathed.
ICSB officials are coordinating with the local government for the use of the sports convention center as temporary class area for the school’s 1,000 students. (Raymond A. Sebastián)