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'Avoidable' fire in Fuengirola block of flats injures at least 14 people

Police and firemen responded quickly to the scene.
Police and firemen responded quickly to the scene. / I. GELIBTER
  • The blaze in the Las Palmeras complex originated in the utility meter room, over which safety issues had previously been raised

At least fourteen people were injured after a fire broke out early on Monday morning in one of the buildings in the Las Palmeras complex in Fuengirola.

One woman, who found herself trapped on the first floor, decided to jump from her balcony and injured herself in the fall; a further 13 were treated for smoke inhalation.

Calle Jacinto Benavente, where the building is located, was closed and around 50 people were evacuated from the building in total.

Three firefighting teams were dispatched from the local station and neighbouring Mijas, as well as Local and National Police officers and paramedics.

According to sources close to the investigation, the fire brigade received a call at 7.10am to report that there were flames coming from 'torre 2'. The same sources report that the fire started in the utility meter room and produced a lot of smoke.

“Safety standards not met”

Monday's fire came as little surprise to many residents and owners of flats in 'torre 2' with the issue of safety raised on multiple occasions over the last few years.

Residents of the building have said that the fire could have been avoided. In June 2016, an independent report commissioned by residents recognised that the utility meter room “did not meet the necessary safety requirements” and warned that it should not be used “until the existing issues are resolved”.

Prior to this, the Junta de Andalucía was informed of the situation via a letter signed by residents. The Junta, in turn, told supplier Endesa that they were responsible for relocating the meters.

Many homes in the building went without electricity for a number of days.