Additional reporting by Laurence Dollimore
A TOURIST has likened the Sisu hotel fire to a scene from a warzone.
A Belgian man told the Olive Press today how he thought he was going to die when he woke up in the midst of the blaze and to the sounds of fire engines outside.
“It was like a warzone, people were lying on the ground in their underwear, we couldn’t see anything,” he told this paper outside the burnt down site this morning.
“No one had tried to evacuate us before we woke up at around 6am, we were still in our room and woke up after the fire engines arrived, so the fire must have started at around 5am.”
The tourist, who arrived in Marbella yesterday, said it was impossible to escape down the stairs as there was too much smoke.
“It was impossible to breathe, I thought we were going to die,” he added, “We are lucky to be alive.”
The rescue mission for firefighters was made extra difficult due to the web-like cladding which surrounds the hotel.
“The firefighters could see some people in their rooms but could do nothing as they could not reach them,” the tourist recalled.
“I had to break through the wood for the fireman to get to me, that’s how I injured my hand.”
The inferno has left at least one dead and several people injured, including firefighters, mostly due to smoke inhalation.
And while the cause of the fire is not yet known, sources tell this paper the police are working with the theory that it was intentional.
“The police are interviewing everyone, we had to go to the police station for three hours,” the Belgian added, “they told me they think it was intentional.
“Whoever did this deserves life in jail.”
The tourist added that he has been left with nothing as his passport, clothes and money went up in the flames.
“I don’t even have any shoes, police told me I can’t even drive as it is illegal without footwear,” he said, “Luckily we have some friends who can help us recover.”
The hotel had opened three weeks ago and there were reportedly 100 people staying there when the flames erupted in the early hours of this morning.
It is not the first time Sisu has attracted media attention.
Back in 2017, the owner of the Sisu brand, Neil Acland, released a video of security footage which showed an attacker launching a grenade into the hotel.
Acland claimed the attack, which happened in March of that year, was an attempt to shut the hotel down ahead of the summer season.
Acland is embroiled in an ownership dispute with a company called Locrimar, which claims to own the brick and mortar of the site and accuses Sisu of not paying rent.