10th body found in charred remnants of apartment building in Spain

Cause of fire in city of Valenica unknown
Burned residential building in Valencia, Spain, Feb. 23, 2024
Posted at 3:27 AM, Feb 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-25 03:27:58-05

VALENCIA, Spain — The death toll from a dramatic fire that left two residential buildings charred in the Spanish city of Valencia rose to 10 on Saturday after authorities announced they had located the remains of what they believed was the last missing person.

Forensic police found the 10th victim inside the scorched building, national government delegate in Valencia Pilar Bernabé told journalists. Police will proceed with DNA testing to confirm the identities of all the victims, she said.

While there were no other missing persons reported, Bernabé stressed that police and firefighters would continue the "complex" work of combing through the building debris in search of any other possible victim.

It was not immediately known how many people were in the two buildings when the fire broke out, but the complex had some 140 apartments.

Firefighters remove charred body inside burned block building in Valencia, Spain, Feb. 23, 2024
Firefighters remove a charred body inside a burned block building in Valencia, Spain, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024.

The blaze that appeared to begin in one home Thursday afternoon engulfed the rest of the 14-story apartment block in less than an hour, raising questions about whether construction materials used on the façade may have contributed to the fire spreading so furiously.

Neighbors described seeing the rapid evolution of the flames, with residents stuck on balconies and children screaming. Those left homeless from the fire, including many Ukrainian refugees who lived in the large residential complex, were initially given refuge in city hotels but were expected to be moved to other accommodations over the weekend.

Experts suggested that a type of cladding might have made the blaze spread faster. However, Valencia Mayor María José Catalá said the fire's cause was still unknown and that it was too early to comment on whether some materials used in the construction of the modern complex might have worsened it.