A flambéed pizza caused a raging fire in an Italian restaurant in Madridwhich left two dead and twelve injured, six of them seriously.
The fire originated after 11 p.m. (local time) on Friday at the Italian restaurant Donkey Canaglia Bar & Rest, in an area to the west of the capital, Plaza Manuel Becerra. The flames started near the entrance of the premises, which made it difficult for people to evacuate. There was no other way out.
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The supervisor of the Samur emergency services, Montse Marcos, confirmed to the press the death of two people. Twelve other people were injured by the flames and the large amount of smoke caused by the fire that spread very quickly.
Tragedy in Madrid
????Two dead and ten injured in a fire in an Italian restaurant in Manuel Becerra
???? It could have been due to an oversight by a waiter, the investigation is underway
???? Collection of evidence and above all testimonial evidence
Photo: Madrid emergencies pic.twitter.com/0As7BOJl3s
– H50 Police Association (@APoliciah50) April 22, 2023
One of the victims was a local worker 35 years old and the other a customer who was near the door, of 42, according to the authorities.
Six people were still hospitalized due to the seriousness of their injuries, one of them “in a more critical situation” and the others “in a stable situation,” said the mayor of Madrid, Jose Luis Martinez Almeida, from the place of the fire, where burned furniture could be seen on the sidewalks.
The hypotheses suggested that the fire was due to “to a flambéed pizza, which could have caught fire on the decoration of the premises”, some plastic flowers that adorned the ceiling and columns of the restaurant, Martínez Almeida said.
“One of the waiters was going to give the final touch to a dish with a torch to flambé it, he held the burning dish in one hand and the blowtorch in the other, it passed near a column with plants and in a matter of seconds everything was on fire”, he told the newspaper The country a client.
At the time of the accident, About 30 people were inside the premises, between diners and establishment staff, as detailed by the Madrid mayor.
“We were very lucky because of the proximity of the fire station”, located just a few hundred meters from the restaurant, which allowed “in less than ten minutes from the first warning, the fire is put out”, continuous.
“If the firefighters had taken four or five more minutes, the number of fatalities would have been higher, due to the conditions of the fire and the smoke,” added Martínez Almeida.
According to current regulations, there are serious restrictions for the use of flammable material on ceilings and walls. Municipal sources said that the premises had a valid license and specified that the decoration must comply with what is indicated in the technical building code and with the fire protection ordinance.
Specifically, the ordinance states that the ceilings and walls of “protected pathways” they must have “non-flammable combustible materials”. A protected route is defined as that which leads “to safe outer space or to a zero-risk sector”.
In this case, the only way out was through the front door, because there was an old emergency door that led to a portal, but it was sealed.
Martínez Almeida said that it was still being investigated whether the restaurant met all the technical requirements, but he was able to confirm that “Due to the size and number of diners” it was not mandatory to have an emergency exit.
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— ＭＡＲＣＯ ＡＮＴＯＮＩＯ (@marcotgn) April 22, 2023
“People ran” to the barracks to report the fire, said Carlos Marín, head of the Madrid fire department. Martín confirmed that the most difficult area was the entrance, where the fire started, which caused many people to go inside. “Some had the chance to hide in the kitchen, crouch down and wait, but the conditions were miserable for everyone.”
Several witnesses reported that they saw people leave “with burned skin” and also many other people who had to be rescued. The large sidewalk in front of the restaurant was littered with bodies surrounded by doctors doing everything possible to save their lives.
Some customers even they tried to break the glass of the restaurant windows from outside with umbrellas from the terraces to make it easier for people to get out, but the thick smoke made it impossible to stay close without the proper equipment.
“All my love to the relatives of those who died in the Manuel Becerra fire and my wish for a speedy recovery to the injured,” the president of the Community of Madrid wrote on Twitter, Isabel Diaz Ayuso. “Thank you, once again, to the emergency services for their extraordinary work,” he added.
David and Ruth are two of the survivors of the tragedy. On a bench a few meters from the restaurant, she told him minutes after the fire: “Do you realize what we’ve gotten rid of?”
Agencies AFP and DPA, and The country
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.