The fire started at 02.20h on the morning of the 12th of November and was finally put out by the combined efforts of the Almuñécar, Motril, Nerja and Vélez Málaga fire services at 06.45h. A total of 150 people were evacuated from the 88 affected flats in the adjoining blocks to Edificío Álvarez on Calle Pablo Iglesias.
The temperatures are said to have reached 800ºC causing a dozen cars to explode. For this reason, until experts have been able to inspect the damage to see if their is any structural deterioration, the affected residents cannot return to their homes. Bear in mind that in most apartment buildings in Spain, the the sewage pipes and electrical installations run along the ceiling of the basement, which means that given the very high temperatures, most of it has been destroyed.
It wasn’t until the early afternoon that temperatures descended enough for the Grupo de Especialistas de Incendios de la Guardia Civil from Sevilla and Jaén to gain access to inspect the damage.
Ambulances from nearby towns were also called in as elderly residents with mobility problems, as well as younger residents, had to be treated for anxiety attacks. Hotel Carmen, just across the road, opened its doors to receive the people who were being evacuated.
Municipal workmen were also involved in the placing of reinforcing joists under the roof and girders in the worse affected parts of the basement garage.
There was a meeting held with the Mayor and the Councillor for Social Welfare in Hotel Carmen to answer what questions they could and to assure the homeless residents that the Town Council was doing all in its power to provide support and assistance.
A little later it was possible to recover cars that had been parked inside but had not suffered fire damage, although they were covered in soot from the smoke.[nggallery id=108].
(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)