Four killed as fire engulfs residential buildings in Spain’s Valencia | News

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At least 19 people are missing and more are injured after a massive fire engulfed two residential buildings.

At least four people have died and several others are injured or missing after a fire ripped through two residential buildings in the eastern Spanish port city of Valencia.

The blaze appears to have started on Thursday evening in a 14-storey apartment block on the outskirts of the city centre and later spread to an adjacent building, engulfing both in flames that sent large plumes of smoke billowing to the sky.

The city’s assistant emergency services director, Jorge Suarez, told reporters on Friday that four people were confirmed dead and that some six hours after the blaze started firefighters were trying to cool down the outside of the building before attempting to go inside.

At least 19 others are missing and 13 people were injured, including six firefighters. The injuries were caused by fractures, burns and smoke inhalation.

It was not immediately clear how many people were inside the two buildings or how many were rescued.

Pilar Bernabe, the government representative for the region of Valencia, said it was hard to say how many people were missing because it was “a building with many flats, flats in which there were people of foreign nationality, whose location is more difficult to pinpoint”.

Firefighters work at the scene of a blaze at an apartment building in Valencia, Spain, on February 22, 2024 [Eva Manez/Reuters]

The fire sent the residents of the buildings onto balconies, where some were rescued by firefighters who rushed to the scene and used a crane for the operation.

Spain’s Military Emergency Unit also reportedly sent soldiers to the site to aid with the rescue operation and its medics set up a large tent to tend to the injured.

Reports have indicated the fire may have spread rapidly due to materials used in the building’s structure, but no official cause has been announced yet.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez posted on X that he was “dismayed by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia” and that he had spoken to other authorities to offer necessary help.

“I want to convey my solidarity to all the people affected and recognition to all the emergency personnel already deployed at the scene,” he said.

Sanchez was on his way to the site in the country’s third-largest city, which has decreed three days of mourning and suspended the start of a month-long annual festival.

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