19 Feb, 2024 @ 15:30
1 min read

Three left dead at old people’s home in Spain’s Madrid after phone charger causes fire

THREE women have died in Madrid after a fire broke out at an old people’s home in the Moncloa-Aravaca district in the early hours of Sunday morning. 

Two of the victims, aged 90 and 93, died due to burns and smoke inhalation after the blaze took hold, while the third, aged 65, passed away in La Paz hospital in the Spanish capital on Monday. 

According to Spanish press reports, a further 16 residents of the Juan XXIII home had to be hospitalised with mild injuries.

The fire broke out in one of the rooms on the first floor of the building, and investigators are working on the assumption that a faulty cellphone charger set a mattress alight. 

The Policia Nacional has opened an investigation in a bid to establish how the deadly blaze began and whether evacuation procedures were respected and the fire-extinguishing systems worked properly. 

Madrid’s regional health chief, Fatima Matute, confirmed the third victim on Monday and sent her condolences to the woman’s friends and family. 

“Unfortunately, a combination of frailty, age and burns to more than 70% of her body surface meant that it was not possible to save her life,” Matute said about the victim in comments reported by Europa Press. 

At the time of the fire, the home was occupied by 38 seniors. The damage caused to the building by the fire means that it cannot reopen, and the occupants have been relocated to other homes or are staying with their relatives.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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