Arenal hotel closed for safety reasons after blaze damages fire escapeA second Majorcan hotel was yesterday hit by fire and evacuated, just a day after 260 holidaymakers were dislodged from a Palmanova hotel blaze. The fire at the Hotel Flamingo in Arenal was reported at 11.20 yesterday morning and fire chiefs say that the blaze started in a make-shift storeroom set up in the fire escape, which is apparently illegal. Palma fire brigade sources said that fire escapes have to be kept clear for obvious reasons in case of an emergency. However the hotel management denied that the storeroom was in the fire escape, pointing out that it was near the stairs, not in the stairwell. Nevertheless, 150 hotel guests had to be evacuated. The director of the hotel said yesterday that the fire was spotted at 11.20 in a room used to store mattresses, pillows and bedding. The cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed, but it was suggested yesterday that it could have been a cigarette butt, which is what caused Friday's fire in Palmanova. The fire spread very quickly fuelled by the highly flammable items stored in the room, and quick-thinking hotel staff battled the blaze in vain with fire extinguishers while the emergency services were alerted. For the second time in just over 24, a huge emergency operation swung into action. A total of 16 fire fighters, all wearing breathing apparatus, fought the flames with back-up from Palma and the thick smoke reduced visibility to zero. None of the 150 guests was in any danger, the fire was contained in the stairwell which also prevented the smoke from entering the main building. However, as a precaution, all the holidaymakers inside the building, the majority from Germany, were evacuated in a very orderly and efficient manner. By 2pm, over two hours after the fire had been reported, the blaze was extinguished and fire crews started to leave the scene. However, fire chiefs advised the hotel director to close the establishment because the fire escape had been severely damaged and that it would be a risk for the hotel to remain open with the escape in such poor condition. All of the guests were transferred to another hotel belonging to the chain yesterday afternoon more than anything for their own safety, sources for the hotel chain said. Fire inspectors will continue with their investigation into the cause of the Arenal fire while their colleagues try to ascertain what caused the fire in the early hours of Friday morning in Palmanova, which also led to some holidaymakers being moved to another hotel.
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