The family, after being evacuated from their homes. / ÑITO SALAS

British family forced from home by fire: "We’re not worried about material things, our thoughts are with the firefighters"

About twenty years ago the family left Lincolnshire to head for a new life in Alhaurín el Grande

IRENE QUIRANTE

The ash does not stop falling from the sky and the sound of helicopters flying over Alhaurín El Grande, heading in the direction of the mountains, has been constant since midday. Still the authorities continue to evacuate families from the area, although mainly from scattered homes due to the risk from the speed with which the fire continues to advance, which at around 4.30pm had already affected some 800 hectares of land to varying degrees.

The sports pavilion in the town has been set up to welcome those who have had to leave their homes in a hurry. In those circumstances is the Harworth family. The eldest are Angela and Adrian, an octogenarian couple, and next to them, sitting around a table, are their daughter Ursula and her husband Francis.

Of British origin, about twenty years ago they decided to leave Lincolnshire to head to the south of Spain and since then they have lived in Alhaurín El Grande. In their house they have a lifetime of memories. Since they left the property and closed the door, at around 2.30pm, they do not know what will happen to their home.

But despite everything, they remain optimistic. “The important thing is life and health, right now the material things are what worries us the least; our thoughts are with the firefighters”, said Ursula. This morning she went out for a walk along the path with her husband and, after a while, she realised that there was something strange happening in the air.

"The humidity was much higher than usual and we decided to turn around," she said. Within a few minutes, Ursula continued, the air had become “completely” unbreathable because of the thick smoke. What shocked them the most was seeing how the fire was devouring the pine trees in its path and spreading rapidly.

Very close

When Ursula and her husband arrived home, on the same street as her parents, they found the Local Police. "They told us that we had to leave as a precaution because of the fire. It looked very close," she said. Her mother maintains that the flames were barely 400 metres away from her home when she collected her belongings to head to the sports pavilion.

The first thing they reached for was medicine. Both Angela and her husband suffer from heart failure problems and in her case, she also suffers from asthma. "That's why from the first moment I was scared for my mother, because it was difficult for her to breathe that air and it didn't stop raining ash," said Ursula.

Pray for firefighters

The family told SUR that although they are sad, the pain they are feeling is nothing compared to the damage that the mountains are suffering, that precious asset in Alhaurín El Grande. Its jewel, as the mother and daughter say. And if they have to pray, they won't do it for their house. They're going to do it for the firefighters.

"That fire is like a monster, I hope this all ends as soon as possible."