Ever Gotesco Grand Central in Caloocan City, The Philippines was burned to the ground on March 17th 2012 and after a fire that burned for 20 hours, was abandoned and declared a no-go area by the city officials. A short time after, while the building was being secured by builders, the mall roof collapsed. Demolition is now seen as the best option for the structure.
The fire initially started around 10:45pm on the ground floor of the four-storey building, possibly in a show store, and was noticed by a security guard who tried to tackle the blaze but to no avail. Nearby residents were evacuated as the fire raged out of control. It was eventually extinguished nearly 20 hours later with the building almost reduced to a shell. It has been abandoned ever since.
Ever Gotesco Malls started in 1972 by the 24-year-old Chinese Filipino entrepreneur Jose Go in Downtown Manila, trading initially as Ever Emporium. They specialised in low-priced goods being sold to low-income students and the company thrived. Jose Go’s vision was to bring affordable shopping malls to The Philipines. In 1975, a second outlet was opened in Caloocan City, the aforementioned Ever Gotesco Grand Central.
Two more stores were later added and in 1996 the company was floated on the stock exchange in Manila. They began to purchase other companies including those with interests in mining, housing, leisure and banking. The Asian financial crisis hit hard, as the business was expanding rapidly using money that had been borrowed. Go was forced to tap into the deposits of his wholly owned Orient Commercial Banking Corp. On February 14th 1998, the bank collapsed, become the first victim of the financial crisis. Ever Gotesco Malls managed to survive with the closure of only 1 of its 5 properties at the time.
The fire at Ever Gotesco Grand Central in Caloocan City forced its closure in 2012 and Ever Gotesco Ortigas Complex in Pasig was sold on in 2016. Two outlets remain – the original now called Ever Gotesco Manila Plaza and Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Center in Quezon City.
The videos below are from the fire and the later collapse of the mall.
Location: Caloocan City, The Philippines