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Wednesday, December 12 2018 @ 04:28 PM UTC

Hotel Fire Extinguished After Two Days

Safety & SecurityAfter more than 20 hours of work, the Fire Department of Panama finally controlled the fire at the Bicsa Financial Center building on Avenida Balboa. Reports from the entity reveal the incident began at 5:30 pm on Wednesday. The fire originated in the second level of an underground parking garage that was being used as a storage area for equipment and furniture to be used in the hotel that will operate in this 67 story tall structure in the future.

The work to extinguish the fire was complicated by the presence of silicone, plastic, liquid solvents and other flammable materials that were in the place, causing several explosions. Firemen opened a hole to ventilate the smoke. The cause of the fire is still unknown. There were no reported injuries, nor was anyone affected by smoke inhalation.

For safety the Fire Department ordered the evacuation of all surrounding buildings. The 200 firefighters were assisted by the National Civil Protection System, the National Police, the Panama Canal Authority, and the Red Cross. Five water tanker trucks from the Institute of Aqueducts and Sewage Systems provided water supply, while six fire engines smothered the fire. President Ricardo Martinelli went to the scene of the fire, to learn more about what happened and to talk with the businessmen, but he refused to talk to the media. (Siglo)

Editor's Comment: When you have a lot of fuel (furniture, paint, building supplies, solvents) all stuffed into an enclosed space like a parking garage, it can be a real bitch to put out. As soon as you pull out one box of burning stuff that allows oxygen to get to the other burning material in the back, and it gets going again. The firemen had to pull out all of the boxes and furniture and other burning materials manually, by hand, one at a time, and hose it all down. This fire had traffic all along the Ave Balboa corridor royally screwed up for the past two days.

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