It took three hours to put out the fire.

A fire at a mechanics' garage in Son Ferriol (Palma) yesterday produced a great deal of smoke and led to five people needing medical attention. The thick column of smoke could be seen across the city.

The fire started around eleven in the morning in the garage on the ground floor of a building with flats. The 112 emergency service was inundated with calls from residents and passers-by. Firefighters had to rescue a number of people and the dense smoke caused by burning chemicals and tyres complicated their work. It took three hours extinguish the fierce blaze.

Three of the six people, owners of the flats, needed to be treated for panic and anxiety attacks. The other three - a man of 37 and his two children, aged seven and eleven months - suffered mild effects from the smoke. A dog and a cat were also rescued from the flames. None of the six people needed to be taken to hospital. So far, no one has been allowed to return to their homes.

A full investigation into the cause of the fire has been opened by the National Police, and structural engineers will have to inspect the property.