Es Pinaret director dismissed after boy dies in fire

MATTRESS FIRE: Smoke detectors were not working properly and activated too late

THE director of Es Pinaret Centre for Young Offenders in Marratxi, Maite Alvarado, has been dismissed.

Last month, a boy of 17 died at the centre in a fire in his room. The Councillor for Social Services and Cooperation, Fina Santiago, has announced that the new director will be psychologist Bernat Vidal. During the investigation into the boy’s death, Guardia Civil requested documents regarding procedures in case of a fire and the distribution of buildings at the centre. They discovered that someone had forged the signature of an engineer who was on leave on the day the inspection and would not have been able to sign them.

Once the investigation is over, the Guardia Civil will press charges. Several monitors, guards and staff have given statements. It appears that the youth, who had been at the centre for 10 months, set fire to his mattress with matches to get attention. 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.

The door was blocked and by the time staff were able to get the boy out, he was unconscious and paramedics were only able to certify his death. 

Last week, another youth from the centre was admitted to hospital after drinking cleaning products, although his life was not in danger because the liquid was not corrosive. Santiago has also said that measures will be taken to put an end to overcrowding at the centre, including works which will begin next year and aim to make room for 64 new interns before 2018.

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