Italian firefighters fought a high-rise fire in Milan on Sunday that quickly spread through a 20-story residential building and released black smoke into the air. The residents were hastily evacuated.
Mayor Giuseppe Sala said there had been no reports of injuries or deaths, but firefighters were breaking down doors, apartment by apartment, to make sure there were no casualties.
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“We are sure it was time to get out, but until the checks are complete we cannot be entirely sure,” Sala told reporters on the spot. According to him, around 20 people were evacuated without incident.
The 60-meter (nearly 200-foot) tall building, part of a recent development project, was designed to resemble the keel of a ship and included an aluminum sail on its roof, which burned down and fell apart on the street.
A huge plume of black smoke rose from the reinforced concrete building named Torre dei Moro and was visible for kilometers (miles). The flames continued to burn for nearly 3 hours after a dozen fire engines and ambulances responded to the alarm.
A firefighter told the Corriere della Sera newspaper that the fire was still limited when they arrived and that the firefighters were able to get the residents out. In less than an hour, the flames spread from the 15th floor, where the fire appears to have started, quickly devouring the entire facade of the building.
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Unidentified residents told Corriere that the facade panels were believed to have been fire resistant.
Firefighters said the fire involved a 20-story building. Plans for the project indicate that it has 16 residential floors plus two undergrounds.
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