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Devastating Spanish apartment builsing fire leaves 4 dead, 14 missing

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A fast-moving fire ripped through a multi-story apartment building in Spain on Thursday, leaving at least four people dead and 14 people missing, local authorities say. 

The devastating inferno broke out Thursday evening in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia at around 5:30 p.m. local time in the Campanar neighborhood.

The fire started on the fourth floor of one part of the complex and quickly spread to an adjacent building.

An apartment building on fire

A quick-moving fire ripped through a multi-story apartment building in Spain on Thursday, leaving at least four people dead and 14 people missing. (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

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Dramatic video from the scene shows the entire complex engulfed in flames as firefighters desperately fight to put the raging inferno out. Flames could be seen bursting from windows while firefighters used a crane to lift two residents from one of the balconies.

A fireman also had to jump from the first floor to a crash mat below.

Firefighters on a crane attempt to rescue a resident from a fire

Firefighters attempt to rescue two trapped residents from the inferno. (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Dark smoke could be seen billowing up into the night sky while strong winds of up to 40 mph were reported by Spain’s weather agency Aemet and are thought to have played a part in its rapid spread.

Some 90 soldiers from Spain’s Military Emergency Unit and 40 firefighting trucks were also deployed.

There are fears that the building’s cladding may have helped the fire spread quickly, akin to the Grenfell Tower fire in London in 2017 that killed 72 people. 

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An apartment building on fire

A massive fire tore through a multi-story apartment building in Spain on Thursday, leaving at least four people dead and 14 people missing. (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The building featured a polyurethane material that is no longer in wide use due to fears over flammability, while it also has an aluminum covering, Esther Puchades, the vice president of the College of Industrial Technical Engineers of Valencia, told Spanish news agency EFE. 

Around 450 people are believed to live in the apartment blocks, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, although it is unclear how many were there when the fire broke out.

The building, comprised of two towers linked by what its developers described as a “panoramic lift,” had 138 apartments, newspaper El Pais reported.

Remnants of Spain building fire

A man on Friday looks at the charred structure of the building. ( Jorge Gil/Europa Press via Getty Images)

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Firefighters continued to hose down parts of the gutted building some 15 hours after the blaze started, with pictures on Friday revealing the structure’s charred remains.

Valencia Mayor María José Catalá said that both the danger of the 14-story building collapsing and the intense heat from the fire had prevented emergency workers from getting in to search for possible survivors.

Pedro Sanchez speaking

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, center, speaks at the scene. (Jorge Gil/Europa Press via Getty Images)

On Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the scene to offer his sympathies.

The city has decreed three days of mourning and suspended the start of a month-long annual festival.

Firefighters attempt to rescue trapped residents as the fire rages

Firefighters attempt to rescue trapped residents as the fire rages. (Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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