Fire in Valencia, Spain, Leaves Residents Homeless After Panicked Escapes

Vladimir Likhvan fled Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hoping to find safety in Europe, only to watch helplessly as his new home was destroyed in the fire that raged Thursday through a high-rise apartment complex in Valencia, Spain, killing at least 10 people.

Mr. Likhvan, 37, his sister, Victoria Tudovshi, 42, and her 13-year-old daughter lived in rented accommodation on the 10th floor of the tallest of the two buildings that was destroyed by Thursday’s fire. They had recently arrived in Spain after a year living with relatives in Lithuania.

Like the two dozen or so other Ukrainian families also living in the building at the time of the fire, the siblings had started to build a new life in Spain, away from the dangers and destruction of war. But on Saturday, they and many of their neighbors were left with no worldly possessions save the clothes on their backs; they were homeless, shopping for toothbrushes and other basic necessities.

Just down the road, local authorities held a moment of silence for the victims in front of Valencia’s City Hall.

“We need help, with documents, with clothes, with money to buy new tools for work,” said Mr. Likhvan.

Initial suspicions about the cause of the fire fell on construction materials, with investigators seeking to determine whether exterior cladding might have helped fuel the fire.

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