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Fire Engulfs Office Building in Madrid

Sun Feb 13,12:50 AM ET

By HAROLD HECKLE, Associated Press Writer

MADRID, Spain - A raging fire swept through the upper levels of a 32-story office building in downtown Madrid early Sunday, causing no serious injuries but collapsing the top floors in a shower of flaming debris.

Bright orange flames shot out the sides of the Windsor Building, which is near one of Madrid's main boulevards and was believed to have been empty.

The fire started around 11:30 p.m. Saturday and was still burning out of control several hours later. At least nine upper stories were on fire and muffled explosions could be heard in the building.

After gutting the top of the building, the flames worked their way downward. Officials had hoped a thick reinforced concrete plate at the 17th floor might halt it, but the fire kept going. About six-and-a-half hours after it started, the fire was still raging.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known, but emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said it might have been a short circuit.

City officials were afraid the building might collapse entirely.

"At this point the fire can't be fought and we have to wait," said Pedro Calvo, the official in charge of the fire department and other emergency services.

Firefighters and police evacuated nearby buildings and streets for fear of a total collapse. Firefighters also started hosing down neighboring office buildings to keep the fire from spreading.

Ayuso said three firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and exhaustion.

Construction of the Windsor Building — a landmark in Madrid's business district — began in 1973 and was completed in 1979. It was surrounded by scaffolding due to recent repairs, Ayuso said.

The building housed the offices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a multinational financial services company.
 

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Madrid Skyscraper Fire Burns Into 2nd Day

By MAR ROMAN, Associated Press Writer

MADRID, Spain - Firefighters shot jets of water on one of Madrid's tallest office buildings for a second day Sunday, fighting to control a fiery orange blaze that began the night before and threatened to collapse the 32-story skyscraper.

The morning light exposed the damage from the spectacular fire that lit up the night and attracted thousands of onlookers. The top floors were little more than charred steel twisted into destroyed shapes. Everything else was burned away.

"We are battling Madrid's most important fire in its history," said mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, speaking from the scene Sunday morning. "The situation right now is still of high risk. It will take hours until this fire is declared under control."

A filmy soot covered nearby sidewalks and buildings, and the smell of burnt metal hung in the air. At its peak, temperatures reached 1,440 degrees Fahrenheit, said Javier Sanz, chief of Madrid's firefighters.

Three firefighters suffered smoke inhalation and exhaustion. No other injuries were reported.

Against the nighttime sky, bright orange flames shot out the sides and top of building, producing thick columns of black smoke. In the middle of the night, at least six of the upper floors collapsed in a shower of flaming metal debris.

The building, reportedly the fourth-largest in Madrid, was believed to be unoccupied when the fire broke out.

The cause was not immediately determined, though emergency services spokesman Javier Ayuso said firefighters think it may have been an electrical short circuit.

Most of the Windsor Building, about 350 feet high, housed offices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a multinational financial services company. The fire appeared to start about three-quarters of the way up the building.
 

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Third Place winner, October 2012 XT Photo Contest
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Any news??? Will it hold? Really hope it doesnt crash down.
 

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The building "resists" until now. But the risk is still high. There is still some zones with fire in the building.
 

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Well I hope no lives are taken in this fire.

If were lucky maybe this is were Mills works and if so, we will see more of him here at XT.

keeping it positive!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
che, i just had him in msn and he would have told me! ;)
 

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I have some friends working there in Deloitte. By now, I guess that they won't lose their jobs because of this, but I'm sure that they lost some information about their clients and their own firm.

Fortunatelly, this buidling are just offices and there are no deaths. I hope that the building doesn't collapse.
 

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I saw this on TV. At the first glance, it made me think of some attack. Hoepfully no victim. The building should not hold as the structure is severely damaged by the fire, steel of the skeleton molten.
 

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Ivan Helguera said:
I saw this on TV. At the first glance, it made me think of some attack. Hoepfully no victim. The building should not hold as the structure is severely damaged by the fire, steel of the skeleton molten.
This is the main problem. This building is not as good as the Twin Towers. The NY buildings felt over themselves, while the building of Madrid could fall over another one next to it.
 

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holy $hit!!!
if my memory is right (and due to weekend oversmoking it might be wrong...), but last i came to madrid to watch a few games i've stay in a hotel in the same block as that building. i think it was the holiday inn. or something...
 

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sagyv said:
holy $hit!!!
if my memory is right (and due to weekend oversmoking it might be wrong...), but last i came to madrid to watch a few games i've stay in a hotel in the same block as that building. i think it was the holiday inn. or something...
No, it's quite near, but it's not the same building. I guess that you were in this one:
http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hd/tojsp
 

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since none got hurt, I can say the pictures of the fire look great.
 

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I used to go into that building at leats once a week to meet with the Delloite folks:eek: Thankfully it happened at night.
 

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Third Place winner, October 2012 XT Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #19
 

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Discussion Starter #20
 
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