Police investigating the forest fire which burned the beachside Laguna Village shopping and leisure complex "to the ground" on Saturday believe that the blaze may have been started deliberately. This is according to SUR sources who add that no arrests have yet been made.
The fire, which was declared at around 2pm on Saturday was not completely extinguished until 3pm on Sunday, with firefighters working around the clock and against the elements to contain the spread.
The specific circumstances in which the fire started are still unclear but what is known is that the flames originated in the area of the river Padrón, near an area known as Prado World to the north of the A-7. Strong gusts of wind caused it to move southwards, crossing the road and affecting the commercial complex, a house and a hotel.
Sources consulted suggest that an unidentified individual set fire to some bushes, perhaps in relation to an argument or dispute between several people over the use of farm land, but the authorities in charge of the investigation have not confirmed this.
Forty-two hectares affected
With the flames under control on Sunday it was possible to get close enough to Laguna Village to inspect the damage. The outer shell of many building was completed burned out. Chiringuitos, swimming pool areas, restaurant kitchens and all types of furniture were completely destroyed.
The flames affected some 42 hectares of land, and forced the evacuation of 30 homes and guests of the Kempinski Hotel Bahía, which suffered comparably minor damage. Once the situation was under control, guests were able to return to their rooms.
The smoke from the fire was visible from as far away as Marbella but no one seriously injured except a firefighter who required medical attention for minor injuries.