Investigators search for clues as to what started the deadly fire at Sisu Hotel near Puerto Banús

The flames spread rapidly across the roof of the hotel.
The flames spread rapidly across the roof of the hotel. / SUR
  • Firefighters, police and ambulance services were praised for their swift action last Friday morning as the building burned out of control

Police have been searching inside the fire-damaged Sisu Boutique Hotel in Puerto Banús this week, looking for clues as to the cause of the devastating blaze there last Friday morning. A 30-year-old French guest died in the dramatic fire, visible from most of Marbella.

Forensic experts were inside the badly damaged building and grounds on Monday, combing the site for evidence.

The investigators are working with the so-far confidential initial findings of Marbella fire brigade after they had damped down the final flames last Friday.

Sources said that the investigators used a drone to overfly the site, trying to ascertain if the deadly blaze had been started deliberately or was an accident.

Last weekend, the management of the hotel published a statement which, as well as offering condolences to the family of the dead man, stated that they were considering legal action against some media and individuals over "insulting" reports speculating over the causes of the fire.

The dawn blaze at the Sisu Hotel, alongside the A-7 motorway between Puerto Banús and San Pedro, produced an enormous ball of fire and smoke that could be seen for kilometres.

Fire, ambulance and police services were called to the scene. Around 100 people from the hotel and residents of adjoining building had to be evacuated. Nine people needed treatment, mostly as a result of smoke inhalation.

Almost a bloodbath

Marbella council sources said that the fire could have been "a bloodbath", if it wasn't for the swift intervention of Local Police and firefighters, who were able to control the flames, and above all, rescue people inside the building.

Many guests had to escape from the balconies of their room, breaking a wooden ornamental latticework, and climbing down below. Others waited for firefighters to reach them by elevated cradle. It is believed that the man who died was trying to climb down the building when he fell.

Several firefighters were treated for exposure to heat and smoke, as flames raced up one side of the building, across the roof and towards the other side.

One guest on the first floor explained how he woke up and saw how the room was full of smoke. "I warned my friend, we saw the flames and we climbed out of the window, lowering ourselves down," he said.

The hotel had finally reopened for the season just three weeks ago.