Noa de la Torre Valencia


Updated Monday, February 26, 2024-01:51

  • Events Eleven hours of two firefighters in the flames: "We knocked on the doors in case we heard a voice"

The minute of silence called by the Valencia City Council on Saturday, after the fire that devastated the Campanar housing block, was called in the square where the first great


of the

Fallas of 2024

was to be fired yesterday . Hundreds of people waited in silence for five minutes in memory of the 10 fatalities and the hundreds of people affected who have lost their homes.

They did it right in front of the fence that was already ready for the fireworks show.

The image is still a metaphor for how the city lives these days at two rhythms that intersect.

The official mourning prevented the celebration of the


, as well as the great event that each year begins the Fallas on the last Sunday of the month of February.

This is the


, which was also suspended without the City Council having yet decided how it will reschedule the event with which the period of Fallas celebrations is officially inaugurated, and in which the major Fallas of Valencia make a call to the entire citizenship to join the party.

The stage in front of the iconic


towers - at the entrance to the historic center - is still there, ready for a party for which no one dares to set a date yet.

The mourning, in reality, has not ended: hundreds of residents of the


neighborhood gathered again this Sunday in front of the parish.

In the crowded square, only the church bells could be heard.

"We are really, really affected," said Ramón Vila, president of the Campanar bell ringers association moments before the minute of silence began.

"With this tribute we give our moral support to the victims."

The palpable mourning in the neighborhood contrasts with the pre-falla atmosphere that is already being experienced these days in the center of Valencia, full of tourists this weekend.


, a Canadian, does not hide her shock at what happened: "We came on vacation and we are shocked, but Valencia does not stop and we are taking advantage."

She says it while she waits to buy some churros at the traditional stands that have taken to the streets this weekend.

Because there are no Valencia Fallas without the smell of churros.

A few kilometers away, in


, the gigantic charred skeleton remains standing, still enveloped by that silence that leaves another image of contrasts: that of neighbors placing flowers on an improvised altar while others even take



If on the sidewalks the municipal workers continued with the cleaning tasks yesterday, the firefighters and the

Scientific Police continued in the building.

The comment that has not ceased to be heard these days among those who look up to contemplate the magnitude of what happened sums up well the mixture of


and tragedy: "The building burned like a failure."

He did it, paradoxically, next to the site where the million euro falla was planted years ago.

As a result of the real estate boom - like the neighborhood itself - the crisis took it away.

And the fire has now done it to one of those luxury developments.