In January 2010, Barcelona firefighter Joan Pagés recorded a video with his mobile phone showing that the only thing to do when there is a fire in our building is to try to remain calm, confine yourself to a room, protecting it from smoke, and try to do not run away, because smoke and high temperatures are very treacherous, and their consequences, fatal and deadly. More recently, on November 29 of last year, another firefighter, also from Barcelona, recorded a very similar video.
That smoke and high temperatures are treacherous has been proven once again. This time, in Rubí. In the Roses neighborhood. Three adults, a married couple and a teacher, a neighbor of another of the floors of the affected building, died early Wednesday morning in a fire at number 13 Saragossa street. In the absence of the report from the scientific police of the Mossos d'Esquadra and that of the Generalitat Bombers, everything points to the fact that the flames started in the meter room on the landing of the entrance of a building that was conceived as a hotel and that their owners later converted into apartments.
Some flames that, according to some of the evicted residents and consulted by this newspaper, started in that meter room where old furniture had been stored in recent times that became the perfect fuel for the first flames.
As it was, a possible short circuit caused flames that burned without brake. A fire that started around half past five in the morning and caused the first cries for help from some neighbors who saw how thick black smoke quickly took over the corridors that led to the main exit door.
About thirty families slept in the building. When they opened the door, many found that the common corridor leading to the lobby was impassable and opted to return inside and try to escape through the windows that opened to the outside. Some windows secured with fixed bars that became mousetraps.
One of the residents of the Rosés neighborhood was the first to come to the rescue. He called 112. He was not the first to alert the emergency services. Then he concentrated on helping the trapped neighbors, who did nothing but scream in despair. “Three women asked for help through the window, but they could not get out because the bars prevented them from doing so. They were waving their arms and hands desperately and shouting in anguish,” he explained. With hammer blows, he managed to move the gate a few centimeters, which the first patrol that arrived, made up of agents from the Rubí municipal police and the Mossos d'Esquadra, finished tearing down.
The chaos was total. The Generalitat firefighters did not take long to appear, but by then some residents had already accessed the roof and others had jumped into the street through the windows without bars on the second floor. Some firefighters from the Rubí park quoted by the journalist Anna Punsí conveyed their "discomfort" because two of the three trucks in the park were attending a traffic accident on the A-2 and the third has been damaged for weeks and has not been replaced.
Upon arrival, firefighting personnel extinguished the fire without difficulty. It wasn't complicated at all. In fact, the flames did not gain more surface than the lobby, lined with wood. But the tragedy was already irremediable.
At noon, the judge on duty authorized the removal of the three corpses. It was about a couple and a teacher that some neighbors explained that she taught at Pare Manyanet.
Throughout the morning, the police officers from the central visual inspection unit accessed the entrance hall. They are fire experts, who donned their white coveralls and spent the morning in the lobby trying to identify the start of the flames.
It didn't take long for a young woman who had lived in the building until two months before to appear around the building, on the other side of the police tape. She recounted that the owner was literally “a pirate who personally took care of some electrical installations that jumped every two by three because, instead of calling a specialist, he did it. Like bungling."
Firefighters later confirmed that the structure of the building had no structural damage, but advised residents to wait at least one night before returning to their homes to sleep. Dense, black and dangerous smoke had taken over the place.