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The Mercamadrid fire in the control phase: “Fruit supply is guaranteed”

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“Today is a sad day for Mercamadrid, we are working to get back to normal as soon as possible. First of all we want to make it clear that the supply of fruit is guaranteed.” It is the first day after the fire that destroyed one of the fruit and vegetable warehouses of the largest supply market in Spain on Saturday evening. With these words wanted the general manager of the market, David Chica , clarifying that despite the damage suffered, supplies will in no case be compromised.The fire that broke out in Mercamadrid Warehouse A on Saturday afternoon is currently in the control phase after firefighters managed to stop its progression during the night. “Out of 6,000 square meters, we managed to save 3,000, which seemed difficult at first,” said Fernando Munilla, spokesman for the fire brigade and responsible for extinguishing the fire.The origin of the fire is still unknown: once the interiors of the ship are accessible, will It will be the police’s job to investigate the causes of the accident.

At 11 a.m. Sunday morning, firefighters continued to pour water from the height of two cranes to completely cool the structure and prevent the spread of new outbreaks. There are still hot spots and it is very difficult to access the flames as the collapsed materials occupy the floor. “There’s still a lot of time before the operations are complete, probably all day,” says Munilla.

Meanwhile, professionals continue to carefully inspect interiors in the accident-free zone, an operation that couldn’t be carried out last night due to the risk of collapse. Saturday’s now-clear smoke was replaced by a strong smell of burning, so much so that market workers and stallholders watching the firefighting operations covered their noses and mouths with their masks, despite the heat.

The plume of smoke caused by the fire at the Mercamadrid fruit warehouse on July 23rd.Juan Carlos Gomez (EFE)

A total of 11 companies are affected. The fire has charred the fruit and vegetable stalls, but especially the offices where they keep records and bills, making it even harder for them to return to work. “These are exemplary companies that have not failed a single day during the pandemic and [el temporal] Philomena. We have been working since last night to find a solution so that they can resume their activities in their facilities as soon as possible,” says Chica. However, on Tuesday – the first working day after the accident – ​​Mercamadrid will open without them. Neither will the other companies on Ship A return to work, who, even if they haven’t lost their belongings in the fire, cannot enter the space until the space has been declared safe.

“The month of June is usually a month with less activity, many people from Madrid are leaving the city and the general volume of products in the warehouses is lower. But at this stage it is impossible to quantify the damage sustained,” added the CEO.

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The fire broke out at 7 a.m. Saturday afternoon in a building that has two floors: the ground floor and a sort of mezzanine, or attic, where each fruit stand has its offices above. Several fire crews quickly surrounded the ship to stop the fire through the decks so they could also see the interior and observe which area it was prudent to put out the fire. 80 firefighters were on duty at the same time to extinguish the flames as quickly as possible and limit the damage.

Finally, at 11:00 a.m., almost four hours after it broke out, firefighters deemed the fire under control and contained. They worked throughout the night to completely extinguish the fire from the outside without entering the ship due to the risk of collapse. “Since the ship has a lot of fire load because it has the two long sides full of offices, this material caught fire immediately,” Munilla said last night when the fire was already contained. To extinguish the fire, firefighters managed to position themselves in the cafeteria, which was also affected by the flames.

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Source elpais.com

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