Car battery discharge caused Post Office fire — BFP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 6) —  A sudden explosion of a car battery located in a storage room caused the fire that gutted the historic Manila Central Post Office last May 21, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) reported Tuesday.

In its report, the BFP said the fire originated at the southern part of the basement where office supplies, thinners, paint cans were stored close to the car batteries.

"The combustibility of the load contents and its enclosed set-up greatly influenced heat build-up that explains the explosion and subsequent conflagration," the report read.

It added that the self-discharge of the battery resulted in "thermal run-away" causing a sudden build-up of heat and pressure eventually leading to explosion.

READ: Fire out declared at Manila Central Post Office more than 30 hours after the blaze broke out

"The contributory factors and the combustibility of materials within the AFO fueled and sustained the ignition sequence," it added.

The case was officially ruled "accidental in nature" and that the fire incident investigation was considered closed and solved.

According to the BFP, the estimated cost of damage of the fire has reached ₱300 million.

The Manila Central Post Office served as the headquarters of the Philippine postal Corporation and the center of postal services in the country since 1926. It was rebuilt in 1946 after it was destroyed due to World War 2.