650 hectares destroyed in Caldas da Rainha wildfire

Funeral of firefighting chief who died of heart attack attended by President Marcelo

The fire that broke out on Wednesday in Caldas da Rainha and during which a firefighter died of a sudden illness (heart attack), consumed an area of about 650 hectares, mainly of eucalyptus, the commander of the district Civil Protection service said today (Friday).

The fire did not cause other damages, Carlos Guerra told Lusa. It was the third biggest fire so far this year in the district of Leiria, after the ones of Pombal and Caranguejeira.

The fire has been in the aftermath and surveillance phase since Thursday, although there are “small reignitions”, said the same source.

Some 227 firefighters and 79 vehicles remain on site, according to the page of the National Civil Protection Authority at 10:25.

The fire broke out on Wednesday at 13:45 in Caldas da Rainha and spread to the municipality of Rio Maior.

Funeral of firefighter

One fireman suffered minor injuries in the fire and another, the deputy chief Carlos Alberto Ferreira Antunes, 52 years old, of the corporation of Óbidos died due to sudden illness.

The funeral takes place today at 15:00 at the headquarters of the Voluntary Fire Brigade of Óbidos, with the presence of the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, and the minister of internal administration, José Luís Carneiro, the commander of the corporation, Marco Martins, told Lusa.

After the mass presided over by the firefighters’ national chaplain, Américo Aguiar, the body will be buried at Arcos Cemetery in Óbidos.

The municipality of Caldas da Rainha expressed its “deep sorrow for the death” of the firefighter and addressed condolences to his family and the fire brigade in a statement published on its Facebook page.

Source: Lusa