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Deadly fire engulfs apartment building in Spain’s Valencia

<i>Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Sixteen firefighter units were sent to fight the blaze.
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Sixteen firefighter units were sent to fight the blaze.

By Atika Shubert and Claudia Rebaza, CNN

(CNN) — At least nine people were killed and up to 14 others remain missing after a large blaze ripped through an apartment building in the Spanish city of Valencia.

Jorge Suárez, the city’s deputy director of emergencies, said firefighters struggled to contain the blaze and were working “exclusively” on cooling the building’s exteriors.

Given the “characteristics of the building,” firefighters had not been able to enter to address the fire from inside, he added.

At least 14 people were injured in the blaze, with most taken to local medical centers, Suárez said.

Bodies were found by the firefighters using a drone, the City Hall said.

Among those treated for injuries are at least six firefighters, Valencia’s Emergency Services said on social platform X.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez traveled to Valencia on Friday in a show of support for the city following the fatal blaze.

Sánchez spoke to the media at the scene, calling for people to show “empathy, affection and solidarity” with the victims and their families.

“That is what we all need to show: empathy, affection and solidarity with the victims, their families and those who still do not know exactly what has happened to many,” Sanchez said. “We are here, mayor and president, to help you and above all to show that commitment and solidarity of the Government of Spain and that of the whole of Spanish society.”

Footage from the scene shows the entire complex ablaze as flames tear through apartments and thick smoke billows overhead. In one video, fire crews can be seen rescuing people from a balcony as the fire rages behind them.

The fire started around 5:30 p.m. local time [11.30 a.m. ET] in the Campanar neighborhood, and 16 firefighting units were sent to the scene, emergency services told CNN en Espanol.

Suárez said firefighters were analyzing the building to assess if there’s a risk of it collapsing.

The fire raged into the evening as nearby residents looked on in horror, with one telling Reuters the scenes were “tremendous, unbelievable – I can’t believe it.”

Valencia Mayor María José Alcalá told residents in a post on X to avoid the scene to help rescue services.

Hotel rooms were being organized for people whose homes were affected by the fire, emergency services said.

Three days of official mourning have been declared starting Friday, the mayor said.

“There are no words that describe the enormous pain that the city of Valencia is feeling right now,” she said. “All our support and deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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CNN’s Duarte Mendonca contributed reporting.

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