Disasters & Accidents

Officials probe cause of fire that devoured 20-story building in Milan

Rome, Aug 30 (EFE).- Prosecutors in the northern Italian city of Milan have opened an investigation into a fire that ripped through a 20-story residential building, completely devouring the exterior it in a matter of hours, the city’s mayor Giuseppe Sala said Monday.

Firefighters, working at the scene since 5.35am Sunday, were still tackling smaller blazes in the interior of the building, which houses 70 families, although just 30 were present when the blaze broke out.

Sala said in a Facebook post that there were no injuries or deaths as a result of the fire and commended residents for knocking door-to-door during the evacuation of the residential tower.

“The judiciary is already working to clarify the dynamics of the incident,” he added. “It’s not acceptable that such a modern building proved completely vulnerable.”

The intense smoke and high temperatures inside the building are impeding firefighting efforts on the upper storeys of the tower, the fire department said.

Residents alerted each other to the blaze via a community WhatsApp group and just 20 people were treated by medics for mild smoke inhalation.

Giuliano Santagata, commander of Milan’ fire department, told local media: “The current situation is that the fire has not been completely extinguished.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in the city. It’s likely that the facade was made of very combustible material.”

The building, located in the city’s southern outskirts, was built a decade ago and the facade comprised prefabricated sheets of polystyrene cladding.

The fire is believed to have broken out on the 15th floor and rapidly spread to engulf much of the building.EFE

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