Firefighters try to stop a fire from further spreading inside the gymnasium of the Mindanao University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Lapasan. - Photo by Dante Sudaria

The state-run Mindanao University Science and Technology (MUST), formerly Mindanao Polytechnic State College, yesterday lost some P20 million in property after a morning fire broke out inside the institution’s gymnasium in Lapasan yesterday.

The gymnasium was supposed to be renovated soon but after the fire, the facility would need to be rebuilt.

Engr. Joselito Padayhag, MUST’s maintenance office head, said the damages could reach some P20 million. But fire  investigators however estimated the damages on at P5 million.

Building a new gymnasium would need some P60 million  to P70 million, said Padayhag.

He said his damage estimates excludes radio equipment, lightings, industrial fans, basketball boards, and other MUST property in the building.

Padayhag said the fire broke out around 8:10 am in a room located at the back of the gym. The area was where the circuit breakers were placed.

Padayhag said he suspected that the fire was a result of faulty electrical wirings and the fire quickly spread because of the curtains and wooden ceilings.

He said no one was hardly around when the fire started. Workers, he said, used fire extinguishers but they failed in stopping the fire from spreading.

Dominador Abecia, a  janitor, said he saw a sparks at a circuit breaker shortly before the fire broke out.

The fire was contained an hour later by fire fighters.

MUST supply officer Angelito Macabale said the gym was insured with the Government Services Insurance System (GSIS) for P17 million.

He said the gym is supposed to be renovated next month for P28 million, the bulk (P16 million) of which is supposed to be for the gym’s airconditioning system.

Macabale said a bidding for the gym’s reconstruction would now be the option.

Aside from the gym’s  renovation, MUST also plans to build a Science Complex building in front of the gym for P86 million.

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