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The state of the area after the blaze. SUR
Sunbed rental business on Benalmádena beach is gutted by fire
Crime

Sunbed rental business on Benalmádena beach is gutted by fire

The family that operates the service has estimated the losses at ten thousand euros, but they were not insured, and said they are scared as they do not know the motive for the vandalism

Lorena Cádiz

Benalmádena

Wednesday, 23 August 2023, 20:28

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The Grande family are worried to death. This past Tuesday morning, without any prior warning, they found their beach plot on Benalmádena Costa practically razed to the ground after a mystery fire.

Miguel Ángel Grande, with the support of his sister Ana Grande, has been working the sunbed rental business on Kilito Beach, in the Gaviota complex, at the foot of the Aleixa Playa hotel, since 1981. In these 42 years of work they have never had a serious problem: the odd act of vandalism consisting of a stolen mattress cushion, a 'botellón' (drink party) that ended up with a sunbed damaged, but little else.

Until Tuesday morning, when they arrived at the beach, they found that more than a dozen umbrellas, 24 sunbed and more than 60 mattress cushions had been burnt. The fire, according to the family, originated in the pile of mattresses, which, like all the sunbed rental businesses on the Costa del Sol, Miguel Ángel left covered with plastic and tied with rope. When the mattresses caught fire, the flames spread to everything around and ended up burning the sunbeds and umbrellas.

The family, who have already filed a report with the police, put the losses at ten thousand euros, but said "we have no insurance cover, neither us nor any of the 'hamaqueros', because no insurance company will cover material that is left in public", explained Ana Grande.

And the situation could have been much worse for them, being left without equipment in the middle of the high season, if it weren't for the solidarity of owners of other sunbed business plots. "They have been very good to us, and have given us equipment, as much as they can, so that we can continue working".

The reasons

Those affected say they do not understand the motives behind such a vandalism attack. "We have been working here all our lives and we don't know of anyone who has suffered anything like this. We have been told that a nearby kiosk was recently burgled, but it was nothing like this. No matter how hard we try we don't know why we've been targeted ", said Ana, who added, "my brother is a very dear person, he doesn't have any enemies, on the contrary, we've had good clients all our lives".

Damaged sunbeds. SUR

At the moment there are several eye witnesses who were on the promenade thenight and who have told them what they saw. "We imagine that now the police will have to investigate and review the surveillance cameras that may be in the area. We know that the hotel has several, and we hope that they can find out more. Until then they admit that "we are scared to death". "We don't know who it could have been, or why, and until more is known we are very worried."

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