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Fuengriola Fire

News date: Friday, 09th of July, 2004

The former was caused by a short circuit in an old couple’s holiday home

The latter razed scrubland and pines

A couple from Zamora, Francisco F. G. and María del Carmen V. G., arrived in Los Boliches for their summer holiday last week, as they do every year. But this year their stay was cut short when a blaze swept their holiday home in Avenida Acapulco last Friday. Francisco died in the fire and his wife, who was admitted to Carlos Haya Hospital in Malaga in critical condition, the next day.

The three-bedroom flat, on the seventh floor of a building called Valencia C, caught fire at 1.45 p.m., at a time when most of the residents were cooking lunch. “I noticed a strange smell, like frying, but it was too strong and I began to get scared”, said one of the neighbours. The police and the Fire Brigade took only three minutes to reach the scene of the fire after the alarm had been raised but the blaze, caused by a short circuit, probably in the living-room, had swept through the flat at high speed.

“At 2 p.m.they knocked on my door to tell me to leave the building”, explained a neighbour on the third floor. But despite the speed with which the emergency services arrived, nothing could be done to save the life of Francisco, a pensioner of about 60. Nobody was hurt in any of the neighbouring flats, however, as they were all empty when the blaze started.

Scrubland fire

Another fire broke out on the Costa del Sol last Friday, this second one affecting El Cortijo studio in Benahavís, where an advertisement was being recorded. Twelve people involved in the recording were evacuated from the villa housing the studio, on El Gamonal development. Several families in the area also abandoned their homes when they saw flames advancing towards them from the River Guadaiza area. The firefighting forces did not know the cause of the blaze, which razed nine hectares of scrubland and pine grove, but there were various hypotheses. One of these was that it was caused by campers burning refuse beside the river. Although the neighbours raised the alarm at 2.10 p.m. the fire could not be controlled until 9 p.m., even though 88 firefighters were in action all that time with the help of three vehicles, two aircraft, a helicopter and ten other people. The only building that was damaged by the fire was El Cortijo recording studio, where the office and part of the terrace, the latter made of wood, were affected. Most of the window panes were also shattered by the heat from the flames.

Local residents were in disagreement with the authorities over the time taken for the fire-fighting forces to arrive. Ana Morito, who works for the studio, claimed: “They took an hour and a half to reach our homes because when we raised the alarm they said they had to check whether it was true”. However the Andalusian firefighting force Infoca insisted that it only took ten minutes to reach Lomas de las Colmenas, the area affected by the blaze.

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