Monday, June 17, 2024

Massive shopping centre in Warsaw destroyed by raging inferno

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  • The Marywilska 44 Shopping Centre complex homed some 1,400 stores
  • Around 200 firefighters scrambled to the scene to put out the blaze 

A raging inferno destroyed a massive shopping centre in Warsaw this morning as firefighters scrambled to save the 1,400 stores within the building.

A thick blanket of smoke covered the Polish capital in the Bialoleka district as suspicions of ‘arson’ have swirled following the shocking blaze that ripped through the Marywilska 44 Shopping Centre complex.

More than 80 per cent of the sprawling shopping complex was reportedly on fire, and 50 firefighting teams battled to contain the flames.    

Some 200 firefighters were at the site, including a chemical and ecological rescue group, according to local reports.  

The first firefighters arrived on site 11 minutes after receiving the report of the disaster, but the fire had already covered two thirds of the surface of the shopping center which was eventually completely destroyed.

A raging inferno destroyed a vast shopping centre with 1,400 outlets in the Bialoleka district of Warsaw early on Sunday
More than 80 per cent of the sprawling shopping complex was reportedly on fire, and 50 firefighting teams battled to contain the flames
Thick black clouds of smoke were seen billowing into the air and blanketing the sky

There were no initial reports on casualties or the cause of the inferno, but there were suspicions of arson as the blaze shocked firefighters by spreading so rapidly through the complex.

‘Such a rapid spread of the fire is an unusual situation,’ the fire brigade spokesperson told local media.

‘The fire spread rapidly perhaps due to the flammable materials accumulated inside, especially textiles. We do not yet know what caused the fire. Experts will determine this’.

The roof of the building collapsed as the fire took hold, with horror footage showing the bright orange flames engulfing the complex and sending thick black smoke billowing into the morning sky.

Residents were urged not to open their windows or go outside, after authorities sent a text message to Warsaw locals warning them of the blaze.

Investigators are seeking to establish the cause of the major fire, with Polish news outlets stating the inferno spread suspiciously quickly throughout the complex.

The Marywilska 44 with almost 1,400 commercial units – including many kiosks – was among the biggest shopping centres in Warsaw. 

It was owned and managed by Mirbud. 

The Marywilska 44 with almost 1,400 commercial units ¿ including many kiosks ¿ was among the biggest shopping centres in Warsaw
‘Such a rapid spread of the fire is an unusual situation,’ the fire brigade spokesperson told local media
There were no initial reports on casualties or the cause of the inferno, but there were suspicions of arson as the blaze shocked firefighters by spreading so rapidly through the complex

‘Almost 100% of it was burned. The fire is being extinguished and this will take many hours, perhaps several hours,’ Mariusz Feltynowski, commander-in-chief of the State Fire Service told a news conference on Sunday. 

Shopping centres and  large shops tend to be closed on Sundays due to a ban on trade installed by the previous government which had close ties to the Catholic Church.

The shopping complex blaze comes just days after a parcel warehouse serving Amazon, Yodel, and DPD, exploded in Cannock, Staffordshire.

A massive fire with smoke seen as far as 20 miles away erupted at the warehouse the size of ‘two football pitches’, with the fire services ordering an urgent evacuation on Thursday morning.

Those living nearby described a sound like ‘a bomb going off’ just after 6am.

Footage posted on social media showed a ginormous plume of black smoke interspersed with flames spewing into the sky.

The fire originated at the logistics firm Super Smart Service in the Kingswood Lakeside Employment Park, a distribution warehouse ‘which contains a variety of different materials for delivery’ – up to 70,000 parcels a day.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service rushed to the scene of the inferno and told nearby residents to shut their windows, with businesses ordered to evacuate.

A spokesperson for the service told MailOnline they first received reports of the fire at 6.14am, with 10 fire trucks attending. No one was in the building at the time.

The large Cannock Orbital shopping centre was evacuated, and contains a number of shops including Sainsbury’s, Boots and PureGym.

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