surinenglish

Couple arrested for 'serious negligence' which led to Laguna Village fire

Aerial view of the Laguna Village complex.
Aerial view of the Laguna Village complex. / SUR
  • Investigations have concluded that the blaze, which affected 42 hectares of land, started as a result of an electrical failure in a cabin which was illegally connected to the main grid

A couple have been arrested over their role in the fire which spread to the Laguna Village shopping and leisure complex in Estepona on Saturday afternoon.

Those arrested are a man and a woman, 43 and 51, respectively, of Spanish nationality. They are accused of arson as a result of serious negligence and electricity supply fraud.

This was announced on Monday by the National Police, whose investigators concluded that an electrical failure in a household appliance in a cabin in a rural area near the river Padrón caused the fire which was spread rapidly by the wind.

This cabin was supplied by an illegal hookup to the main grid around 100 metres away, with power cables running across the land. This fraudulent connection was allegedly made by the couple under investigation, according to the investigations.

Burned 'to the ground'

The fire, which took more than 24 hours to extinguish, spread rapidly from this cabin north of the A-7 to the Laguna Village complex where the buildings' roofs were made of wood.

Witnesses said that the flames jumped from roof to roof, burning the popular beachside area "to the ground", in the words of the town's mayor, José María García Urbano.

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.