Nerja Mayor Rosa Arrabal’s neighbours suspect a fire which broke out in the gardens of their residential complex at the weekend could have been started intentionally and the fire brigade is investigating the matter.
Residents of the complex on Calle Chaparil got a nasty fright on Saturday (June 4) when they noticed a smell of smoke at about 2pm and looked out of their windows to see flames. Local Police sped to the scene and evacuated the flats temporarily as a precaution, and residents grabbed fire extinguishers to try and control the blaze while the fire brigade arrived from attending another incident in Frigiliana.
Luckily no injuries were reported although three people received medical attention at the scene having inhaled large amounts of smoke and for the understandable shock and fright. Trees in the communal gardens were burned and window blinds and awnings of the nearest building were destroyed by the flames, which residents say spread so quickly they think the fire was started on purpose.
The authorities initially suspected that the fire had either been started by a dropped cigarette or was intentional. They are now analysing ashes and remains in search of anything which could have been used to accelerate the spread of the flames. While Mayor Arrabal was not at home at the time, her oldest son Javier was and received a huge fright, she said on Facebook that evening, as he had come out of the kitchen to find their flat full of smoke and had no idea where it was coming from.
“I would like to thank my neighbours, the Local Police, fire brigade and civil protection for their work,” the mayor commented. The incident has sparked debate on local forums over the reduced number of firefighters on duty in the town (three fighters and one engine) and that the new fire station has yet to be opened.