THE BILBAO branch of a franchise of Italian restaurants has removed plastic plants used for decoration from the ceiling, after a blaze broke out in its Madrid venue on Friday night, killing two and injuring 12. 

What’s more, the consumer organisation Facua has called on local councils to carry out inspections in all of the Burro Canaglia restaurants, which are also located in Alicante, Cuenca, Huelva, Malaga, Santander and Seville.

The National Police forensic department is currently investigating whether the plastic materials of the decorations accelerated the fire in Burro Canaglia Bar & Resto, which trapped diners and staff inside the venue as it rapidly took hold. 

The victims were a 25-year-old male waiter, and a 43-year-old female nurse. Eight of the people injured remained hospitalised on Tuesday. 

The artificial plants were held in place by a wire mesh, which fell onto the tables and floor as the material burned, sources from the investigation told news agency EFE. 

According to press reports, it was a flambeed pizza dish – one of the specialties of the restaurant – that set fire to the decoration, although subsequently it has emerged that it was a dessert that was lit by a waiter with a blowtorch. 

Fire crews responded quickly to the incident, given that a fire station was located just a few hundred metres away. 

Staff and patrons were unable to escape the restaurant as the fire was blocking the front door and the restaurant had no rear fire exit given the small size of the establishment.

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