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Hundreds evacuated as popular Alentejo eco-resort goes up in flames

As many as 700 people had to be evacuated yesterday afternoon as a popular west coast eco-resort went up in flames.

Today (Sunday), fire chiefs are suggesting the blaze that damaged central infrastructures at Zmar eco-resort near Odemira started in one of the staff rest-areas.

Media reports say this is in contrast to suspicions yesterday that it could have begun in a pavilion or in the kitchen area.

But as investigations continue with the PJ police now involved, the sad truth is that Zmar, situated in Herdade A-De-Mateus, 13 km from the well-known coastal village of Zambujeira do Mar, now faces a hefty bill for damages.

Said João Ribeiro Ferreira, executive director of owning company Multiparques, “the damages can only be quantified later”.

In all, 98 firefighters backed by 38 vehicles and one helicopter tackled the fire, seeing it dominated within three hours – though the vigilance period went on through the night and into Sunday.

Mercifully, there were no injuries and much of the complex remains intact.

According to Lusa, damages centre on the restaurant area including part of the kitchen and a staff rest room, as well as pool and spa facilities.

Multiparques’ say they hope to reopen within the next two weeks, though the totality of the resort is unlikely to be fully operational before April 2017.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com