By Humphrey Carter PALMA Nova Guardia Civil have opened an investigation after fire gutted a British-owned luxury apartment in Puerto Portals yesterday morning. The alarm was raised at 7.15am by neighbours living in the block in calle Benito Feijoo. The luxury apartment was empty at the time. The British millionaire who owns the 100 square metre flat, and a number of other properties on the island, is believed to have visited the scene later yesterday.

The Guardia Civil said yesterday that they are not ruling out arson as the cause of the blaze.
Traces of cologne were allegedly found next to a sofa and lamp in the spacious lounge/diner which was gutted by the blaze which took fire fighters until 8.30am to extinguish. The fire also destroyed the kitchen and bedroom and, according to the Guardia Civil, caused serious damage to expensive items of furniture and art.

A leading local estate agent told the Bulletin yesterday that front-line properties in the block of apartments are currently worth around 1.2 million euros. However, while traces of cologne were allegedly found, police sources said that there was no sign of a break-in at the first floor apartment. Investigators believe that, if the cause of the fire was arson, whoever started the blaze may have managed to gain entrance to the flat via the sliding glass doors on the front terrace.