Yesterday, Wednesday morning four people died at the Larcomar mall in Lima’s district of Miraflores. Shortly before 10.00 am a devastating fire started in the recently renovated UKV Multicines cinema located deep inside the unique shopping center on the fourth and lowest basement level. Larcomar, the famous multilevel shopping, entertainment and food megacomplex, is built into the cliffs of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific Ocean and popular with tourists and high-end customers.
The UKV cinema theatre only opened at that time for a press preview of the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. While the invited journalists, that were just arriving, could escape the devastating blaze, 4 staff members unfortunately were killed inside the cinema and about a dozen others injured. Witnesses told that the emergency exists were blocked and / or locked, presumably because the cinema wasn’t yet open to the public. Nevertheless, it seems that the fire sprinklers didn’t work either. Authorities didn’t want to comment on these statements. About 200 other people inside the shopping mall could be evacuated unharmed.
Officials told local media that the fire might have been caused by a short circuit and rapidly spread to the underground parking garage due to presumably flammable sound-proof walls. The tragedy isn’t connected to the APEC summit that is being held in Lima and expect numerous heads of government within the next few days. Nonetheless the cause of the fire is thoroughly investigated and official results might take a while.
The cinema and the parking garage were affected most by the blaze, but several other shops in the mall are damaged badly as well. The Larcomar shopping center is temporary closed until the investigators could secure all necessary evidence and clearing and cleaning work is done. UVK Multicines network suspended their operation nationwide until further notice.
Yesterday’s fire at Larcomar is the third devastating blaze in Lima within a month. On the 19th of October 3 firemen were killed in a raging fire at a warehouse of the Ministry of Health and just two weeks ago the Cantagallo shantytown in Lima’s district Rimac burnt to the ground leaving the community of Shipibo-Konibo natives from the Amazon jungle homeless.