By Humphrey Carter TWO women fled for their lives yesterday after fire swept through their fifth floor apartment in Palma. The alarm was raised just after 11am and the block of flats at number 30, calle Despuig, was evacuated and the street sealed off as soon as police and firemen reached the scene. The fire started in the fifth floor flat where the two South American women lived, according to police sources yesterday, the blaze was caused by a pair of candles which toppled over onto a bottle of alcohol, hence the flames spread so quickly through the five-roomed flat. Both of the women suffered anxiety attacks and were treated for the effects of smoke at the scene by paramedics. Four other residents in the block also required medical assistance, but no one was taken to hospital. Three Palma fire fighting units and trucks rushed to the scene, the main concern being to make sure that the flames did not reach any of the flats above. Thick smoke filled the stairwell so the first group of fire fighters at the scene used a hydraulic ladder to attack the heat of the fire inside the fifth floor flat. It was the quick response from the fire brigade which meant that damage was kept to a minimum. Four of the five rooms in the flat were gutted, but only parts of the building were damaged by fire, the flames were contained inside the apartment and quickly brought under control by fire fighters working in extreme heat. Throughout the operation, Local Police cordoned off the area and paramedics remained on site in the event of an emergency, primarily involving fire fighters suffering from heat exhaustion, as all of the residents had been led out onto the street to safety. Most of the residents returned to their homes yesterday afternoon. Some decided to spend the night with friends to get over the shock while the residents of the gutted flat were being housed in temporary accommodation. A full investigation has been launched.