At least four individuals lost their lives in a significant fire that engulfed a residential block in the coastal city of Valencia, Spain, as reported by emergency services in the early hours of Friday.

While local newspaper Levante mentioned 20 people as missing, this figure was not officially confirmed by Jorge Suarez, the deputy director of emergency services for the Valencia region, at the time of the early morning update.

Suarez explained that firefighters had not been able to enter the building yet due to safety concerns. The extensively damaged structure needed external cooling before any attempts could be made to enter.

Initially, the count of casualties was reported as 14 injured, including six firefighters.

The fire originated in a fourth-floor apartment of the 15-storey building, constructed just a few years ago, and rapidly spread throughout the tower block.

Experts on Spanish media attributed the swift spread of the blaze to the building’s façade, constructed with flammable materials, exacerbated by strong winds.

The tragedy in Valencia evokes somber memories of the Grenfell fire disaster in London in June 2017, where 72 lives were lost in a tower block fire in West London’s Kensington. In that incident, the fire ignited on a lower floor and swiftly spread through the insulation of the social housing block’s façade. Initially, the fire brigade advised residents to stay inside, resulting in many flats becoming perilous traps for those affected.