Firemen take 90 minutes to get to Velez Blanco fire

FIREMEN took an hour and a half to arrive at the scene of a fire in Velez Blanco.

The Deputy Mayor of Velez-Rubio, Juan Chacon, also in charge of Civil Protection, said they have “no obligation to attend because they are volunteers”.

He admitted there had been a “lack of coordination” but said the fire had been extinguished thanks to their new equipment.

The fire broke out at around 7pm last Saturday for reasons which are still not known. The flames, of up to four metres, completely gutted the ground floor of the building, where there were two vehicles and building material.

The owners, who were not at home, were alerted by neighbours, who alerted a Local Police officer who was in the area. The neighbours were evacuated from their homes and many attempted to no avail to put out the fire while they waited for the firemen.

The local mayor, Antonio Cabrera, had to go to Velez Rubio to get the fire truck, and Civil Protection from the neighbouring town also attended the scene.

Local Police, Guardia Civil and Albox firemen eventually arrived and took more than an hour to extinguish the blaze.

Meanwhile, Cabrera said he planned to request the Junta de Andalucia that there be a driver on stand-by for the Infoca fire engine at all times.

There were another three fires in the province over the weekend, although fortunately no-one was injured. In Roquetas, several people had to be rescued from their homes, and six were taken to the Poniente Hospital in El Ejido mainly for stress and anxiety.

In Huercal Overa, 15 people were evacuated after a coal burned caught fire in an apartment.

In Albox, a fire broke out in a two-story building, causing serious material damage, although the occupants, a couple, their three children and an elderly relative, escaped unharmed.

This fire was also caused by a coal burner.

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