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Greece fires took just minutes to reach the sea

Greece fires took just minutes to reach the sea
By Louise MinerMichalis Arampatzoglou
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Not many people had a chance to escape as the second fire which broke out Monday afternoon destroyed everything in its path within moments


As strong winds and very dry ground helped fuel the fires, a second major blaze broke Monday afternoon in areas northeast of Athens.

This was to be the most devastating of the flames.

Vlasis Siomos is a conservationist, President at the Association of Municipalities for the Protection and Reformation of Pentelikon Mountain and he says, "The fire started and within 20 minutes it was out of the borders of Penteli and had reached Neos Voutzas. After that it was a matter of minutes, not hours for the fire to reach to the sea".

Dozens of homes and cars were destroyed. The speed the fire spread took many by surprise.

Chrisostomos Giotkis lives at Neos Vourtzas and says, "I was at the porch with the kids and the fire started. Within 3 minutes it exploded and it reached the house. The winds were very high, 10 feet, maybe more. I managed to get the kids and leave the house".

North East of Athens, the flames were blown from village to village to the coastal town of Mati destroying everything in its path in a matter of moments.

Euronews reporter, Michalis Arampatzoglou says, "The flames crossed the hills and the gorges within minutes. This is Marathonos Avenue, that connects the area with Athens. The fire crossed the street within a few seconds. There was nothing that could stop it’s way to the sea".

Many people ran into the sea to escape on boats - but not everyone made it.

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