Hundreds of people were evacuated after a massive fire spread in a tourist area near the Spanish cities of Valencia and Benidorm, reports The Independent.

More than 40 firefighters from the Spanish Military Unit are fighting with the flames, which started Sunday evening and quickly spread in the Javea resort.

At least 20 houses were destroyed by the flames, and the inhabitants were evicted and sheltered in public schools, restaurants and hotels in Denia and Benidorm. According to the authorities, many holiday retreats from Bentatxell, Tossalet and Cansalades were also evacuated.

The police are investigating the cause of the fire and take into consideration a premeditated plan.

According to the investigators, there were three different fires in the tourist area, which caused massive damage. A group of teenagers was arrested. The authorities believe they might be the authors of the horror scenario. Initially, the firefighters thought this is a vegetation fire, but allegedly the fire was intentionally set because it started in various places.

A British tourist witnessed the entire scene and says it was absolutely horrifying.  “There are three helicopters overflying the area with water. Flames were expanding from a mountaintop to another,” added the woman.

According to the authorities, the first fire started at 4:10 p.m. in Cumbres del Sol, and the second at 18:30 in Granadella. A large cloud of smoke was seen above the beaches very appreciated by the British tourists. The fire that had multiple outbreaks attests, according to regional authorities, the criminal character of the fire.

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