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A STRAY firework from Calpe’s ‘Castell de la mar’ display on Sunday morning caused a fire at part of the city’s historic Roman archaeological Banys de la Reina site.
The fire was centred on a landfill site by Morello Mill and there was slight damage done to paintwork on three parked cars.
Flames spread to some vegetation at Banys de la Reina but stopped short of the mosaics outside the area of the first century villa and also avoided the Roman baths and basilica.
The site is regarded as one of the most important from the Roman era in the Spanish Mediterranean.
Experts from the Ministry of Culture carried out an inspection on Monday and described the impact on structures as ‘minimal’.
Calpe mayor Ana Sala rejected criticism that the fire might have been caused by negligence.
“We had no warnings of any strong winds and the fire was fortuitous and totally unforeseen and was simply an accident,“ she said.
Calpe’s Culture councillor Guillermo Sendra said: “The pyrotechnicians were told that if winds exceeded 35 km/h, then the display would not happen, but gusts did not go above 25 km/h.”
The opposition Partido Popular has demanded an extraordinary plenary session of Calpe council to find out what weather forecasts were acted on considering there were warnings in place over forest fire risks.
The PP has also suggested that ‘platforms’ should be purchased to fire rockets into the sea so that they don’t land close to properties or the Banys de la Reina site.