Another fire, thought deliberate, destroys 4 vehicles near Las Palmas. Suspect sought

A fire in the early hours of Monday on the outskirts of Gran Canaria´s capital Las Palmas, has mobilised firemen and municipal police to the scene at about 1430 where a total of four vehicles were burned , three of them ambulances and the fourth, a van. All of them, according to Local Police, were vehicles abandoned on a plot in near Calle Tablero de Gonzalo, in the neighbourhood of Salto del Negro .

The National Police have taken charge of investigating the incident.

The blaze follows a similar one on Saturday morning, when eight ambulances were destroyed in Telde, in a fire that is believed to have been intentional. This latest incident reinforces the hypothesis that it is not a random event, but likely caused maliciously.

According to local residents, a young man of about 26 years old, thin and dressed in jeans, left the scene on a motorcycle, alleging that he must have been the perpetrator of the fire.

Firefighters in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria received a report indicating that a fire had started in Salto del Negro around the same time as man who was at the scene saw the young suspect loitering near where the ambulances began to burn. When asked why he was there, the boy said he was just urinating.

The witness accused the young man of having started the fire, other residents witnessed the confrontation. One lady, identified as Sofia, had to mediate so that the argument would not get out of hand. The young man, in the heat of the moment, allegedly tried to enter the man’s property and threatened to burn him. “I’ll go back and burn you there,” he is reported to have said. The alleged perpetrator of the fire got on a motorcycle that was parked in street, put on his helmet and fled, according to the witnesses.

Four firefighter units from Vegueta and Miller Bajo, eash consisting of a sergeant, a corporal and five firefighters, used about 7,500 liters of water to extinguish the flames, which caused visible smoke throughout the surrounding area. Sources among them did not want to confirm whither the fire had been deliberately started until investigations had been carried out, but they explained that the fire spread very fast from one vehicle to another so the main hypothesis is that some type of fuel was used to accelerate the flames.

The fire fighting team finished around 16.40 hours, according to municipal sources. The three ambulances and the van, which was loaded with rubbish, were reduced to ashes. Agents of the Scientific Forensic Police have begun an investigation and have interviewed the witnesses to try to identify the source of the fire.

On this occasion, the affected emergency vehicles were abandoned. Last Saturday, however, another eight ambulances from the non-urgent transfer service parked at their Telde base were completely destroyed. The National Police are continuing with their investigations and the circumstances surrounding this event.