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The interior of the restaurant was gutted in the fire. EFE / Video: Atlas

Investigations continue after flambéed pizza sparks fire in Madrid restaurant that left two people dead

The blaze started next to the main entrance door and in seconds spread across the ceiling that was covered in artificial plants

Álvaro Soto / Mateo Balín

Madrid

Monday, 24 April 2023, 11:10

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A spicy pizza flambéed at the table with a blowtorch was supposed to be one of the star dishes at the Italian restaurant chain Burro Canaglia, but instead it was the cause of a fatal fire last Friday night.

Two people died and twelve others were injured, six of them seriously, at the eatery in central Salamanca district in Madrid on 21 April, after the lighter near the entrance door ignited artificial plants hanging by the wall. Within seconds the restaurant at 16, Plaza de Manuel Becerra, was up in flames as the fire spread across the ceiling.

Diners and staff hurried to the back of the premises while firefighters from a fire station just 200 metres down the road saw the smoke and rushed to the scene. Twelve crews were eventually mobilised to extinguish the blaze.

A 43-year-old customer and a 35-year-old employee died in the fire. Twelve others were injured, six of them seriously, including one in a critical condition due to burns and smoke inhalation.

EFE / R.C.
Imagen principal - Investigations continue after flambéed pizza sparks fire in Madrid restaurant that left two people dead
Imagen secundaria 1 - Investigations continue after flambéed pizza sparks fire in Madrid restaurant that left two people dead
Imagen secundaria 2 - Investigations continue after flambéed pizza sparks fire in Madrid restaurant that left two people dead

The venue, which opened its doors in December 2021, was quite busy on Friday night due to a birthday celebration. In total, it had space for about 100 diners, of which 40 were seated on the outside terrace.

The Burro Canaglia restaurant chain is in the process of expanding with franchises in Madrid, Bilbao, Seville, Malaga, Huelva, Alicante and Santander. It is managed by the Sevillian restaurant group The Clandestine Hub, which received two hospitality awards in 2021 and 2022.

In a statement uploaded to their social media account on Saturday, they said they were "deeply upset" by the two deaths and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.

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