Fire destroys documents, files at Manila Customs office

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2019 10:53 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2019 10:57 AM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Fire destroyed some documents and computer files at the Bureau of Customs office at South Harbor, Manila on Friday night. 

The blaze began at the third floor of the BOC office's main building around 9 p.m. and was controlled before dawn on Saturday, the Bureau of Fire Protection said. 

Most of the documents destroyed in the fire have back-up copies but some do not and could no longer be retrieved, said Customs Spokesperson Dino Austria. 

The lost files may spawn port congestion and other problems, he said. 

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, the BFP said. 

BOC divisions affected in the fire will be temporarily relocated to a nearby gymnasium and the offices of the Philippine Ports Authority and Maritime Industry Authority. 

The BOC office is a pre-war building and its officials were supposed to seek its classification as a national heritage site, said Austria. 

The building was struck by fire on the same night that some 350 houses burned in nearby North Harbor, dividing firefighters. 

- With reports from Michael Delizo and Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News