The investigation in to Saturday evening's fire at the Punta del Mar in Santa Ponsa is being carried out by the Guardia Civil and it appears that the hotel should not have been open. More than 150 guests were evacuated when the fire broke out at shortly before 6pm in a store room on the third floor with five people needing to be treated for the effects of smoke. But while the police continue with their investigation, the Balearic Ministry for Tourism has revealed that the hotel should not have been open because last October it was ordered to close for having apparently increased its number of rooms without permission. An investigation was opened in to the hotel's deficiencies last year and therefore was not allowed to re-open until the faults had apparently been resolved. According to the Ministry, building work is presently being carried out at the hotel, another reason why the hotel should not have been open. The fire could complicate matters as the Ministry was last week about to decide how best to penalise the hotel for the apparently illegal renovation work. This week the Minister for Tourism, Celesti Alomar, is expected to agree on a fine which could be as high as 120.000 euros (20 million pesetas). Most of the guests were German pensioners and some were seen clambering out on to the roof to escape the fire which took fire fighters an hour to control.


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