Alberto Mas Valencia


Updated Saturday, February 24, 2024-00:08

  • Live Fire in a building in Valencia, last minute live

  • Tragedy A couple with their two young children, the first fatalities of the Valencia fire: "They died of asphyxiation in the bathroom while she said goodbye to her mother on the phone"

The speed with which the fire spread from the fire in the Valencia building put those who were inside the 138 homes at that time in check.

The strong smell of burning plastic alerted many neighbors, the column of smoke many others.

Thus began a time trial to try to escape from there.

Many people saved their lives on their own in just a few minutes.

Firefighters and other neighbors were also responsible for rescuing people unable to take care of themselves.

A quadriplegic was taken out by one of the firefighters who were taken to the hospital.

«I just want to thank a firefighter, we don't know who he is, who saved my neighbor and his wife.

If it weren't for him, my neighbors wouldn't be alive today,"

Belén Lilienthal

said through tears on Friday morning, pointing out that both are recovering in the hospital and that it is a family with many needs.

She also revealed that she knew one of the deceased.

“I have lost everything,” Lilienthal said sadly.

She was not in the building at the time of the fire because she was in Denia, but she could see how the fire devoured her home in a matter of minutes through the screen of her mobile phone, until the security system cameras stopped showing. function.

Survivors talk a lot about collaboration between neighbors in the midst of chaos.

Another person with paralysis of his arms and legs was also able to leave his home thanks to the help of his neighbor


: "Between several of us we have been able to get out a neighbor who is quadriplegic."

There are those who were able to help other residents.

This is the case of

Manuel Fandos

, who was working on the balcony of his home on the 12th floor, right on the facade where the fire broke out.

"I notified relatives I had at home and went down the stairs slowly because I was with an 80-year-old person," he said about what happened the next morning from the hotel where he was relocated.

José Luis Mas

, 67 years old and a recently retired doctor, also knocked on his neighbors' doors, "but no one opened and there was no time to wait anymore because the hallway was filling with smoke."

The fire caught him in his pajamas, "he was on the couch, watching a tennis match in Dubai."

José Luis and his wife were lucky because they lived right in front of "the only downward staircase there was."

Seven floors below, already on the street, the man was assisted by the only basic ambulance that was available at that time to receive oxygen after inhaling smoke.

While he was recovering he saw the flames.

«The entire building burns down in less than 20 minutes, faster than a failure.

The reason?

I have no idea.

What I want now is to create a neighborhood association and work on it,” Mas managed to explain, with a sad face.

"I don't have an ID or bank card or wallet, the car was in the garage, everything was inside, I have nothing," Laura


the next morning with her partner


, owners of the house for three years. door 105 of the second block, on the ninth floor.

She, a teacher by profession, was taking a shower at home when a strong smell of burning plastic alerted her.

"I closed the windows in the bedroom and dining room and I understood that I had to leave," explains Laura.

When she left the house, she noticed that there was a lot of smoke on the landing and decided not to use the elevator.

"Going down the stairs I met the firefighters, I crawled out and in two minutes my terrace was on fire."

When his partner, Manuel, arrived on a motorcycle at the foot of the building after being warned by Laura, "that was already a chimney."

Kiko Veniel

, a man who has lived in the Campanar neighborhood all his life, was alone at home, except for his dog, at the time of the event, since his wife and son had gone out for a walk.

«We found out about the fire because of the smoke through the windows.

It was brutal, very fast, all in five minutes," he described.

The family rented a house on the tenth floor.

«We are fine because people are the most important thing, but we have not begun to assimilate it.

There are no words, it seems like a joke, you don't know what to say.

Yesterday you were at home with the neighbors, going to pick up the child and suddenly... », said Veniel, who spent the first night at his parents' house.


Ricardo Sampieri

lived on the sixth floor, in front of the deceased family.

"We were good neighbors," he explains sadly at the door of the hotel where he is going to stay for the first few days.

The social services of the Valencia City Council have told him that he will be able to stay until the 29th.

"We are alive, which is the important thing"

Sampieri says that only his 17-year-old son was at home.

He was near the building when the fire started and he had time to see the first flames, so he called his son on the phone to get her to flee.

They knew the building well, since before renting their current home they had already lived on the floor below.

The day after was hard.

He had to assimilate what he had experienced and lost the previous afternoon.

Dozens of neighbors went in dribs and drabs to the point of care for those affected by the fire, located in the Tabacalera building.

There they receive information and telephone numbers to receive help and be able to start life again.

Like the Portuguese


and the Belgian


, the young couple who managed to be rescued from the balcony of their house, after almost three hours with the flames stalking them up and down their terrace.

Tired and very sleepy after the rescue and having spent the night in the hospital, they explain that they arrived in Valencia a little over a year ago to take advantage of the quality of life that the city offers.

"We didn't expect something like this to happen to us," they lament before emphasizing: "We are alive, which is the important thing."

Both only have words of gratitude for the firefighters: "They risked their lives to save us."

Rehousing and 131 new homes

With the building already devoured, the neighbors face the slope of the next day.

The path has only just begun and there are many unknowns that need to be cleared up.

For now, some of the estate's residents have been rehoused in different hotels in the city, while others are in the homes of family and friends.

Valencia City Council


already provided a solution for the coming months: 131 newly built homes in the


neighborhood that are being equipped to accommodate residents in the coming days.

Another issue is the insurers.

The entities are streamlining the management of the incident and will advance compensation to the affected policyholders.

Neighborhood association insurance covers the costs of repairing structures and common areas, while home policies cover the contents, the goods that were inside.

Regarding whether the neighbors will be able to return to the building one day, it is too early to draw conclusions.

We have to wait for the reports and expert opinions.

Some experts suggest that the fire has damaged the structure and point to its demolition, although there does not appear to be any risk of imminent collapse at this time.