Hell in Valencia, fire in a 14-storey skyscraper: flames also in the building next door


By John

A fire of enormous proportions has a 14-storey building in the Campanar district was devoured and reduced to a burning skeleton, in Valencia. The flames, which broke out at 5.30pm on the fifth floor for reasons still under investigation, due to the strong westerly wind and the high temperatures of 25 degrees, quickly spread along the vertical of the building and also extended to the tower 2, in the same block of the residential complex, where overall approximately 350 people live in 140 apartments.

Second a provisional toll at least 13 people were injured, for fractures, burns and smoke poisoning, including several firefighters and a child, hospitalized in various hospitals in the city. Numerous people, including a father with his daughter and a couple, who had been trapped for a long time on the balconies of the upper floors of tower 1, were brought to safety by the firefighters, who rushed to the scene with over ten teams, while a hospital was being set up camp and send mobile burn and resuscitation units. The firefighters have not yet been able to verify whether there are still people trapped inside the building.

The 112 emergency services avail themselves of the collaboration of the Ume, the military unit of the army, to try to bring the flames under control. Shortly before 10pm the fire had not yet been put out nor any fatalities confirmed. The testimonies of the residents are dramatic.

«We saw the windows explode from the fire and the temperature became unbearable and we fled outside. But there were still many people inside, screaming desperately looking for their relatives and who were told by firefighters to put wet cloths under the doors to try to block the flames and smoke.», said Vicente, interviewed by national TV Rtve. “We are surprised by the speed with which the flames spread, an hour later the fire also reached tower 2, there are still many people inside,” Adriana, the administrator of the complex, told local media Levante in shock. .

According to an initial reconstruction by the firefighters, the insulating material on the buildings built 15 years ago would have favored the rapid development of the fire, even without the fire prevention systems having been activated. The vice-president of the Order of Industrial Technical Engineers of Valencia, Esther Pchades, who carried out an assessment on the skyscraper, attributed the voracity of the flames to the coating of a layer of polyurethane under the aluminum plates that covered the facade, a “totally flammable product, which caused the expansion of the flames in less than half an hour”. now,” he declared on Valencian public television. The two blocks of the complex, built in 2009, were not supposed to contain polyurethane, which was banned after a dramatic fire in a building in London in 2005.