Fire officials in Spain say six nursing home residents died and at least 17 were injured in a fire at a retirement home in a suburb of Valencia early Wednesday.
The Valencia regional fire department said the fire started late Tuesday at a publicly-owned senior residence in the town of Moncada, about 12 kilometers north of Valencia. The fire department said on Twitter it took two hours to bring the fire under control. Several area fire departments responded.
Valencia fire chief Jose Bassett told Spanish media flames and smoke affected an entire wing of the residence, He said officials believe the fire has started in a room on the first floor, where two residents were found dead.
Fire fighters say about 25 of the at least 70 residents of the facility had to be rescued. Regional health officials say five the victims died at the scene and a sixth died at the hospital. They say at last 17 residents were hospitalized with injuries, two of them in serious condition.
Bassett said officials believe a faulty electrical mechanism with an oxygen tank may have started the fire, but the exact cause is under investigation.
Moncada city officials called for a moment of silence and three days of mourning for those who died in the fire.
Spanish President Pedro Sanchez tweeted he heard news of the fire and expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased and his concern for the injured.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters and Agence France-Presse.