A BOY, 17, died in a fire in his room at the es Pinaret centre for young offenders in Marratxi.
Initial investigations suggest that the youth, who had been at the centre for 10 months, set fire to his mattress with matches.
Smoke was seen to be coming from the room and staff called the emergency services. Meanwhile, they found that the door to the room was blocked from the inside. Several minutes later members of staff were able to get him out of the room by entering through the window. He was unconscious and paramedics were only able to certify his death.
In the meantime, Local Police, Guardia Civil and firefighters had also arrived.
Three people suffered from smoke inhalation and one of them had to be taken to a health centre for further treatment.
Guardia Civil from Llucmajor inspected the scene and spoke to witnesses. They questioned every member of staff at the centre and found a box of matches in the boy’s room. The boy’s parents were alerted and they and the staff at the centre were offered counselling. The Head of the Department of Social Services, Fina Santiago, attended the scene. She admitted that the centre was overfull, as there are 60 inmates and it is designed to hold 45.
It is thought the youth was protesting and wanted attention but things got out of control. The smoke detectors were not working properly and didn’t activate until the fire was quite large and the room had got extremely hot, so much so that the door lock had expanded and it was impossible to open it.
His family had not seen him for three weeks and he had not had any visitors or been allowed out of the centre.