A fire in a nursing home in Moncada, Valencia, has killed six people and left 20 injured, including three of them seriously.
The deadly blaze broke out at around 11.30pm on Tuesday 18 January. Firefighters evacuated the building which is located on Calle Mayor, just 100 metres from Moncada’s Town hall.
Witnesses said nursing home staff, the Guardia Civil, local police and firefighters guided residents out one-by-one. One elderly woman, due to mobility issues, was unable to flee quickly enough and she suffered serious burns. She was taken out of the burning building in a wheelchair. At least 50 members of the police and firefighters were involved in the tense operation including police from surrounding areas including Godella, Foios, Alfara del Patriarca, Tavernes Blanques, Paterna, Burjassot and Rocafort.
An initial investigation suggests the fire was caused by a short circuit in medical oxygen equipment. When police first arrived, the fire was spreading quickly through the building and 70 residents were in need of rescue.
Six crews from the Valencia Provincial Firefighters Consortium, four ambulances from the Emergency Medical Aid Service (SAMU) and Basic Life Support (SVB) were also mobilised to care for the elderly with nearly all of them suffering from smoke inhalation and some suffering from burns.
It is expected the death toll may rise. Several police and firefighters also needed medical assistance for smoke inhalation.
Three days of mourning have been declared in Moncada until Friday 21 January. A minute’s silence will be observed today, 19 January, at noon.