Large fire in famous holiday complex in Tenerife

by Lorraine Williamson
Fire Tenerife Ten-Bel complex

ARONA – On Wednesday morning, January 4, firefighters had to work to extinguish a large fire in the tourist macro complex Ten-Bel in the municipality of Arona in Tenerife. The coast here is known as Costa del Silencio. 

It is the second fire to hit these facilities in an advanced state of disrepair. Last August, a fire destroyed all the main park. According to El Día newspaper, the fire started in what was once called La Ballena. This is a restaurant with banquet hall that was part of the leisure offer of this small town for tourists. 

This time the flames threatened to reach the Alborada hotel, the only active accommodation in the complex. Emergency services had to be fully deployed to stop the fire’s advance. Firefighters were busy from 1.00 am until 6.00 am. 

The Guardia Civil has now launched an investigation to determine the origin of the fire. 

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A dilapidated holiday resort 

Ten-Bel (an abbreviation of Tenerife Belgium) was founded in 1963 by Michel Albert Huygens. This businessman from the Belgian Congo bought a site of more than 500,000 square metres at the coast of Arona. In the 1970s it had more than 5,200 places to stay, spread over several complexes. These complexes were named Carabela, Eureka, Bellavista, Géminis, Drago, Frontera, Primavera, Maravilla and Alborada. In addition, a central kitchen, restaurants in all complexes, gardens, party and games rooms and sports areas were added. 

Over the years, and especially after Huygens’ death in 2002, the provisions fell into disrepair. This caused insecurity, squatters occupied various areas and facilities such as water and electricity were cut off. Despite the fact that initiatives have been proposed for the recovery, the situation remains the same and is even aggravated by incidents such as the last two fires. 

The fire brigade shows a photo on Twitter of what part of the Tenerife complex looks like now. 

(On the photo Ten Bel in better times)

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