The family of the firefighter who died in Vilanova i la Geltrú: “They have abandoned us”

Parents and sister of Joan Liebana they have concentrated this June 17, one year after the death of this young firefighter in a fire in a workshop of Vilanova i la GeltrúTo report “the helplessness” who claim to have suffered from the leadership of the body of Firefighters of the Generalitat and by the Department of the Interior. Also to publicly state that, aside from the “stories” that they have tried to “impose” on what happened that day, the truth is that Joan Liébana was “abandoned” by his colleagues. “We must say things clearly,” explained his father, a retired firefighter from the Barcelona corps. “Although it hurts us a lot, Joan died alone on that ship and nobody missed him, ever“.

What happened with Joan on that ship was “an aberration”, lamented the father in an act that was held together with the Ministry of the Interior and that, despite the firestorm that persists in Catalonia, has had many firefighters who have come to support the Liébana family. “When we firefighters enter a fire, we enter together, we advance together and we leave together. And if two enter, two leave. If five go in, five go out. And she is already “, he has concluded.

The accident

Five firefighters, including Joan Liébana, entered a workshop in the Vilanova i la Geltrú industrial estate a year ago. In the rear part of the ship, some vehicles had burned and the office area, through which the five firefighters entered, had been flooded with dense smoke. The temperature was also very high. In this hostile scenario, the firefighters decided to return outside. But Joan Liébana did not go out with them. An hour passed until, once the incident had been controlled, and when the firefighters were carrying out ventilation tasks, they found the body of Joan Liébana, a firefighter from the last promotion.

the body of Firefighters of the Generalitat presented the report of a commission created to explain what happened. The conclusions, in the opinion of the victim’s family, are an attempt to create “a story” that extinguished the responsibilities of Joan Liébana’s companions who did not realize that he was missing when they went outside, who did not react for an hour –some required to be treated for a possible heat stroke–. “We demand the truth,” said his father. “As a firefighter that I am, I must say things clearly, very clearly. So that it never happens again. Being a firefighter means showing solidarity with those we have to help, and not leaving anyone behind. And even less so a colleague”, has continued.

In an emotional reading of a letter, the father also wondered “why the most basic was not taken into account, that the priority of any team is to stay united and safe throughout the maneuver, and that the maneuver ends when all the Firefighters are out and they’re fine. Is there anything more important than this?” “Five entered and four left”, he has repeated. “The mistakes of his colleagues are inadmissible. We can’t expect to improve after the death of our colleagues, and even less of my son. We do not want any firefighter to die in the same conditions. It is an aberration. The death of my son has been a useless and avoidable death. The necessary responsibilities must be assumed.”


Laia Liebana, Joan’s sister and who since her death exhaustively reviews what happened on that ship, has pointed out above during the tribute act. Specifically, to the direction of the Firefighters of the Generalitat Yet the Department of the Interior. He did it to denounce “the helplessness” they have suffered this year.

“The chief operating officer of the Firefighters (David Borrell) did not deign to come home to explain the accident, and even less the hardest part of it, that Joan had been alone for an hour, and that they found him by chance while they were cleaning and airing. as if it were a forgotten junkThat’s how Joan died. Didn’t this deserve an explanation from the person most responsible? “, He lamented.

During her speech, the sister has assured that they are scared that another family could suffer the same degree of abandonment that they have endured if another firefighter died. “Joan deserves truth, justice and guarantee of non-repetition“, in a summary that has become almost a motto.

Related news

The act of remembrance has ended with smoke potsthe music of a piper and with the corporate helmets hitting the ground, in a frequent gesture in the mobilizations of firefighters. A message that Joan Liébana sent to her parents just before she died has also been read: “When I return home, a smile spontaneously appears on me, a smile that grows larger, from ear to ear, appears involuntarily. And it’s daylight, and the sun comes out illuminating how beautiful everything is and I feel immensely lucky and happy, very happy to have found this place in the world.”

A Vilanova i la Geltrú court is instructing the open case for the death of Joan Liébana in which two of the firefighters who participated in the intervention are being investigated for a possible crime of reckless homicide. Joan Liébana’s family exercises private prosecution.

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