As dawn broke in Palma yesterday, the full extent of Tuesday evening's fatal fire was for all to see. A 65-year-old woman burnt to death in the fire in a block of flats in calle Antoni Ribas but the seven-story block was damaged from top to bottom with all of the 26 apartments damaged in one form or another. Firemen and structural engineers spent all day at the scene, inspecting the building and combing through the wreckage, but at least seven flats have been completely gutted. Most of the inhabitants spent their second night in a hotel or with friends and those who know for sure that they have lost their home, are confident that the insurance will take care of the damages. Only those who needed to collect personal belongings were allowed back on the premises briefly yesterday. The structure of the building has not been affected, but the repair work will take well in to next year to complete. The building has got to be completely re-wired, re-plumbed and all the gas pipes will have to be replaced. Few windows remained in place yesterday, the majority exploded in the heat and a few doors hung on their hinges, most had been ripped off by people eager to get out of the inferno. The evacuation was a complicated one and, as reported yesterday, the fire spread rapidly, sources for the emergency services said it was a miracle that more people were not injured or even killed.

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