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FIRE

Tourists’ lantern lapse sparks Spanish fire

Six Irish and two Americans have been arrested after they allegedly started a fire in a nature reserve near the popular holiday town of Denia (Valencia).

Tourists' lantern lapse sparks Spanish fire
Officers at the scene soon found several people having dinner in a house close by who admitted to sending a number of sky lanterns up into the air. File Photo: noii/Flickr

Spanish authorities at the Montgó Mountain range near the holiday town of Denia in eastern Spain had to evacuate dozens of residents in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

It took fire fighters an hour to put out the flames, by which stage 1,000 square metres of woodland had been destroyed.

Spanish National Police were alerted by a neighbour who saw a Chinese lantern, made out of paper and with a candle lit inside, falling from the skies into a forested area, Spanish daily El Mundo reported on Wednesday.

Officers at the scene soon found several people having dinner in a house close by who admitted to sending a number of sky lanterns up into the air.

“If the wind had been stronger we could have been facing a disaster,” a spokesman for Alicante’s National Police told The Irish Times.

None of the eight detainees, five men and three women, have been named.

The group were granted bail by a Valencia judge on Wednesday until court proceedings are resumed.

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FIRE

Barcelona fire kills four, including two children

A fire ripped through an abandoned bank occupied by squatters in central Barcelona on Tuesday, killing four people, including a baby and a three year-old boy, Spanish firefighters said.

Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people.
Police and firefighters gather outside an abandoned building where a blaze broke out early on November 30, 2021 in Barcelona, killing four people. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP)

“While we were battling the fire, we found four people. Emergency services tried to revive them but unfortunately they failed, they could not do anything to save them,” the head of the firefighting operation, Ángel López, told reporters.

Firefighters rescued four other people who were inside the building while putting out the blaze, he added.

Those four were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters rushed to the scene at around 6 am after being warned that a blaze had broken out in the building, Mr Lopez said.

While Mr López said it was not clear how the four dead people were related, Barcelona-based daily newspaper La Vanguardia said they were all members of a Romanian family.

A spokesman for Catalonia’s regional police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, said an investigation had been opened into the causes of the fire.

In December 2020, four people were killed after a blaze ripped through an industrial complex occupied by squatters, many of them African migrants, near Barcelona.

Over 100 squatters were believed to be living in precarious conditions at the abandoned complex in Badalona, a suburban town north of the city.

In addition to the four deaths, more than 20 people were injured in the blaze.

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