Restaurant's Specialty Blamed for Deadly Fire

Flaming pizza set plastic decorations on fire at Madrid restaurant, survivor says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2023 5:07 PM CDT

A Madrid restaurant that specializes in flambéed pizza—pizza briefly set alight after alcohol is poured on it—went up in flames Friday night after one of its pizzas came too close to plastic flower decorations. Officials say two people were killed and at least 12 others injured in the blaze in the Spanish capital, CNN reports. A waiter "had the plate in flames in one hand and the blowtorch in the other," a survivor told El Pais. "He passed by a column with plants round it and in a matter of seconds it burned everything."

Madrid Mayor Jose Luis Martinez Almeida said one employee and one customer died in the fire, AFP reports. The mayor said the death toll could have been much higher if there hadn't been a fire station a few hundred feet away. Firefighters were able to respond within minutes after people ran to the station to raise the alarm. The restaurant "had just one exit, and since the fire was very close to the door, people went back to the rear of the restaurant, and they were completely trapped," a fire department spokesman said. (Read more Spain stories.)

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