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A father and son die in a fire at their home in Arriate

The front of the house in Calle La Habana.
The front of the house in Calle La Habana. / María García
  • The man, aged 52, was on the board of the Nuestra Padre Jesús religious brotherhood, and the boy, who was also a member, played in the municipal band

A 52-year-old man and his young son were killed in a fire at their home in Arriate, in the Serranía de Ronda, in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Three other members of the same family (the man's 43-year-old wife and two children aged 23 and 20) and a Guardia Civil officer needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and were released later the same day.

The fire began shortly before 2am at the property, number 79 Calle La Habana, and firefighters, Guardia Civil and Local Police officers rushed to the scene, along with medical professionals. The blaze was apparently started by a brazier on the ground floor, and it quickly spread to the first floor, where the family were sleeping. A neighbour says he was woken up by the sound of one of the family members shouting; he had managed to get out onto the terrace and was calling for help. "We gave him hose pipes and did everything we could to assist," says the neighbour.

The family are very well-known in Arriate and the nearby area. The father was on the board of the religious brotherhood of Nuestra Padre Jesús in the village, and the boy who died was also an active member. He also played with the Nuestra Señora del Rosario music band. Both associations have expressed their shock and sadness about this tragedy.

Arriate council has declared three official days of mourning, and the mayor has expressed their sadness at the loss of "two lovely people with a very special charisma". He said the family is well-known and much-loved in Arriate, and that the town hall would be doing everything it could to help the rest of the family, including providing them with somewhere else to live.