Spain: Death toll from fire in residential building rises to 10

VALENCIA SPAIN.- The death toll from the fire that devastated a residential building in the Spanish city of Valencia on Thursday increased from four to ten, the government delegate (prefect) in the region reported this Friday.

“We can confirm that, in a first inspection, the scientific police have determined 10 bodies, 10 fatalities,” Pilar Bernabé told the press.

There are still more than 10 people missing.

Voracious fire

The flames forced some residents to take shelter on balconies, from where they were rescued by firefighters, officials said.

Firefighters rushed to the scene, located just outside the city center, where flames could be seen coming out of the windows of the 14-story residential building where the fire apparently started.

Valencia’s deputy director of emergency services, Jorge Suárez, confirmed to reporters the death of four people, adding that about six hours after the fire started firefighters were trying to cool the building’s façade before attempting to enter the scene.

Soldiers from the Military Emergency Unit also arrived at the scene, and doctors set up large tents at the scene to treat the injured.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. News reports noted that it possibly spread at high speed due to the materials used in the building’s structure.

The fire produced clouds of black smoke that could be seen from a distance. Aemet, Spain’s meteorological agency, reported winds of up to 60 km/h (40 mph) at the time.

The fire began in the early afternoon and spread to an adjacent building, state news agency Efe reported. The first reports from emergency services indicated that, in addition to the four deaths, there were at least 13 people with various injuries, including fractures, burns and smoke inhalation. Among the injured are six firefighters.

At this time it is unknown how many people were inside the building or how many were rescued.

The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, posted on Platform X that he was “dismayed by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia” and added that he had offered the city “all the help that is necessary.”

“I want to convey my solidarity to all the affected people and recognition to all the emergency personnel already deployed at the scene,” said Sánchez.