Benidorm’s towering inferno


A fire that raged through one of Benidorm’s luxury skyscrapers on Saturday has justified the extra attention given to tighter coordination within the emergency services when dealing with incidents in high-rise buildings.
In this instance, fire broke out at around 4.15pm in the top floor of a 19-storey skyscraper in the city, spreading rapidly throughout the penthouse floor of the Torre Ipanema apartment building on Avenida Doctor Orts Llorca. The tower accommodates 96 apartments.
Firefighters in Spain are acknowledged to be tireless in their efforts, many provincial crews having to deal with the complications of large-scale forest fires. In Benidorm and other large Spanish cities, however, such complications are exacerbated by sheer difficulty of access.
Firefighters arrived on the scene promptly to find the heat already intense and a column of black smoke billowing into the sky. Three fire units quickly swept the area to ascertain that no one was trapped within the fire zone before evacuating the lower floors and several streets surrounding the area.
The fire was out by 6.30pm, with no reported casualties. The top floor of the Ipanema building, however, has been completely gutted by the inferno.
At the time of going to press the cause of the fire is unknown.


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