Fridge gas leak is revealed as cause of deadly Valencia fire dubbed ‘Spain’s Grenfell’

FORENSIC experts believe a fridge gas leak was the most likely cause of February’s fire at an apartment block in Valencia’s Campanar district- claiming 10 lives.

The blaze and started in the kitchen of an eighth floor apartment in the 12-storey block, with all 138 homes destroyed.

The Levante newspaper reported on Friday that police scientists have concluded that the probable cause was the igniting of highly flammable isobutane gas used in a Beko refrigerator.


A Policia Nacional report was sent to a Valencia investigating court on Tuesday.

Levante quoted part of it as saying that ‘we are working with the hypothesis that a small leak in the ducts of the refrigerant pipes caused the exit of the gas into the air’.

“In the event of any spark or even static electricity from the unit, ignition would happen, which would explain the sort of damage to the fridge condenser at the back where the ducts have disappeared due to the high heat, melting the plastic covering,” the report continued.

The police report states that ‘we can only speculate about what caused the initial ignition’ and added there were no electrical issues with the fridge itself.

It admits that they ‘cannot totally rule out’ an electrical problem as they don’t have all the wiring from the fridge to the socket, but emphasised that they do not believe it was the cause based on examining wires and connections that were not incinerated.

The investigating judge provisionally filed the investigation on March 8 and repeated his stance in April, on the basis that he believes there was no evidence of criminality.

The Prosecutor’s Office and a lawyer on behalf of the relatives of the deceased victims last week demanded the reopening of the legal inquiry.

One of their demands is to find out whether the 10 fatalities could have been avoided.

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