At least nine dead as Valencia fire engulfs two residential buildings

The fire sent clouds of black smoke billowing skyward that could be seen from afar. Correspondent John Ray reports

At least nine people have been killed after a fire engulfed two residential buildings in the Spanish city of Valencia.

Officials had earlier said ten people had died, but confirmed on Friday evening that one person remained missing.

The fire in the 14-storey residential started on Thursday night and quickly engulfed residential buildings.

Firefighters rushed to the area on an avenue on the outskirts of the city center. Credit: AP

Residents could be seen waiting for rescue on balconies, and firefighters used a crane to lift two residents from one of the balconies.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but news reports said it might have spread rapidly owing to materials used in the building's structure.

Neighbour Alejandra Alarcón said it took 15 minutes for the fire to engulf an entire building, as questions abounded as to how the fire spread so rapidly.

Experts suggested that a type of cladding might have made the blaze spread faster, but Valencia Mayor María José Catalá said the cause of the fire was still not known and it was too early to comment on whether some materials used in construction of the modern complex might have contributed.

Cladding was responsible for the Grenfell fire, in which 72 people were killed, spreading so quickly.

Firefighters work at a burned block building outside the city centre. Credit: AP

At least 13 were injured, including six firefighters, most with fractures, burns and smoke inhalation.

It was not immediately clear how many people were in the buildings or how many were rescued.

Onlookers in Spain watch with horror. Credit: AP

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez posted on X saying he was “shocked by the terrible fire in a building in Valencia,” adding that he had offered the city “all the help that is necessary.”

“I want to convey my solidarity to all the people affected and recognition to all the emergency personnel already deployed at the scene,” Sánchez said.

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