Huge fire BREAKS out at 14-storey block in Valencia: Residents climb down balconies as flames engulf 138 flats

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A huge fire has ripped through two residential buildings in the Spanish city of Valencia, with terrifying footage showing desperate residents trying to escape from the flames on their balconies as their homes are engulfed. 

Number of Casualties

At least 13 people have been injured and there are fears that residents are still trapped inside as the fire continues to rage. 

Witnesses have said that firefighters managed to rescue several people, including a father and daughter, teenage boy and a couple, from their balconies.

How it Happened

The fire is believed to have broken out in a 14-storey block of flats at around 5.30pm and went on to ravage the residential block, which is in the Campanar area of the eastern port city. 

It started on the fourth floor and spread rapidly, emergency services and horrified witnesses said, with dramatic pictures showing flames and towering clouds of black smoke engulfing the building.

The apartment block has been ‘reduced to a skeleton’, according to local media, while a nearby building has also been consumed by the flames.

It Calls For Emergency Situations

More than 20 fire crews have been involved in tackling the blaze, with their efforts being hampered by the wind and soaring temperatures of the fire.

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Local media reports that a field hospital has been set up within the perimeter in case possible victims need treatment.

At The Scenes

Dozens of residents were pictured watching on in horror tonight as their homes were destroyed in front of their eyes.

It Happened So Fast

A resident who lives on the second floor of the building told TV channel La Sexta that ‘the fire spread in a matter of 10 minutes’ after it broke out.

What Started The Fire?

He speculated that material on the facade of the building may have enabled the flames to move through the building so quickly.

A resident who lives in the building opposite told RNE radio what she saw when the fire broke out. 

‘At first the fire came out of the balconies and parts of the facade fell down,’ she said, adding that wind had blown parts of the cladding off in recent years and that it had needed to be repaired.

Engineer Esther Puchades, who surveyed that same building said that it was ‘covered in polyurethane, a highly flammable material,’ RTVE reports.

David Higuera, another engineer, told Spanish newspaper El País also said that the building’s cladding may have been the cause of the rapid spread of the fire. 

The foam insulator covering the building is ‘very good at insulating against heat and cold, but very combustible,’ he said.

Thirteen people have been confirmed injured so far, including a firefighter with a broken wrist and residents suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. 

Number of Flats in The Building

The building’s manager reportedly told El Pais that there are 138 flats containing 450 residents.

A woman who runs a nearby flower shop told public television the building was no more than 14 years old and had more than 100 flats, all of which were occupied.

‘What caused the fire to spread was mostly the wind,’ she said, describing scenes of ‘chaos’ as the blaze took hold, snarling traffic and sending clouds of smoke everywhere.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.

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