A 45-YEAR-OLD man has been arrested in connection with a house fire in Algemesi (Valencia) that claimed one life and left the victim’s wife and two children severely injured.

The blaze broke out in a block of flats at around 6 am on Wednesday morning, creating a column of thick black smoke that flooded the house on the floor above, where the family of four were asleep.

While a call was put through to the fire brigade, a group of neighbours attempted to rescue the youngest child, eight-year-old Rony Jose, through a window, but the boy fell two floors and sustained serious injuries.

Emergency personnel broke down the door into the family’s flat and found Jose Moreno Marin, 38, his wife Laura Moya, 39, and daughter Ainhoa, 15.

All three were unconscious and in a state of cardiac arrest due to smoke inhalation.

Fire department house death Valencia

The mother and daughter responded to advanced reanimation techniques and came round, although at the time of reporting were still in hospital in a critical condition – especially Laura, who remained in the intensive care unit.

Jose, however, did not make it and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hours later, at around 1.30 pm yesterday (Thursday), the man who lived in the stricken flat below visited the National Police headquarters in Alzira to explain his side of the story.

He was arrested on the spot, as in the meantime investigators had discovered that his house was used as a smoking den for drugs and that he was connected to the mains electricity supply illegally after having been cut off.

All signs point to an electrical fault of some kind, which if confirmed could make the suspect liable for the fire and guilty of manslaughter.

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