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The death of Lucía Costa: how was the centerpiece that exploded in the San Miguel bar


It is a burner stove, also known as an ecological fireplace. What is it used for and what precautions should be taken to recharge it.

Vanesa Lopez

10/12/2020 15:09

  • Clarí

  • Society

Updated 10/12/2020 3:09 PM

Lucía Costa Osores

, 18, died on Friday from the consequences of the burns suffered at the

Zar Burgers


, in the Buenos Aires town of San Miguel, where she went to eat with some friends.



was the cause of the tragedy.

“From what we saw in a video, the group of boys was at a high table and in the middle you can see that there is a container with a wide base, like a centerpiece.

There was a kind of cylinder from which the fire came out.

Apparently that is

fed with alcohol

and at the base it is like it has stones ”, describes


Manuel Aramayo, a lawyer for Lucía's family.

Everything indicates that it was a

"burner stove"

, also known as "ecological centerpiece" or

"ecological fireplace"


They are objects that come with a cement body, stones, and

a bioethanol burner

, which is a “biosustainable” fuel obtained from the fermentation of plant sugars such as sugar cane, beets, corn, sorghum, barley or wheat.

Centerpieces with fire, a risky fashion.

In Mercado Libre, some descriptions of these products clarify that they are

"For use with bioethanol

or alcohol


They are offered at prices ranging from 1,500 to 3,200 pesos per unit.

According to what was published in

Para Ti

, they were imposed for exteriors or interiors, even for heating rooms.

"However, if bioethanol, the fuel with which the flame is lit, is not handled taking all safety precautions, it

can be dangerous,

" warns the women's magazine, which shares several safety measures.

For example, the fireplace must be stable, its body must not be too hot, the flame must not go too far from the casing, and a fire extinguishing device must be within easy reach, for any eventuality.

Another important fact: it can only be filled

when the flame has gone out and the chimney has cooled down.

But at the scene of the tragedy they do not seem to have taken so many precautions.

“By witnesses, the fire was running out.

A girl approached with a jerrycan

and the same steam, or something like that, caused that tragedy to spread and occur ”, explains Aramayo.

Asked about the possible culprits, the lawyer comments that "in principle" they would be

the Municipality

of San Miguel and

the owner of the

gastronomic establishment located between Paunero and Rodríguez Peña streets.

“There is a health and safety inspection area in the Municipality.

I imagine that they would have to be involved in the qualifications related.

Let's see what happens with this ”, Aramayo advances.

“And without a doubt we have the owner.

Because there is

absolute negligence

in the matter.

We still have to see the file, that will be on Tuesday, and there we will have more concrete information ", closes the lawyer.

The burner stove is used as a decorative object and also for heating.

The young woman's father, Pablo Costa, commented that the bar "was not enabled" because "it does not have emergency exits", only an entrance door.

“And the tables are next to each other,

here there is no social distance


Not that they put tables outside, or anything like that.

They were all inside, ”he added.

“Instead of putting wax candles, they filled it with alcohol and set it on fire.

A waitress came with a five-liter jerrycan of alcohol, the jerrycan caught fire, and

she threw it on my daughter,

"he explained to the news channel Crónica.

“Where are you going to fill a glass container with alcohol and set it on fire, like a candle?

And when that is running out, you go and add more alcohol to a flame set on fire?

The waitress came with a jerrycan of alcohol.

When he went to add alcohol inside the container, it exploded ”, the man continued.

However, sources from the Municipality of San Miguel told


that the premises were "

perfectly enabled

and in order" and that it had an emergency exit "at the same entrance, opening in and out."

In addition, they commented that the meeting of these friends took place in "an internal patio in the open air."

Zar Burgers, the bar where the explosion that killed Lucía Costa Osores took place.

Photo Marcelo Carroll.

Regarding the characteristics of the centerpiece, municipal spokesmen said that "

there is no legislation on that

" and that "a bar is not enabled or ceased to be enabled for that."

They describe it as "a small lighter" surrounded by some stones and with a covering around it, so that the fire does not go out.

For their part, judicial sources from San Martín informed this medium

that on Sunday "the manager of the restaurant, the girl and the owner were notified."

That is, so far there are three defendants in the case "for the crime of wrongful death," they specified.

And they clarified that "the Municipality is not charged."

Official sources assure that 10 minutes after the incident the firefighters arrived and 12 minutes later SAME arrived.

Lucía was transferred to the Dr. Raúl F. Larcade Hospital, where they received the corresponding attention.

In that place he died - not in Hospital del Quemado in the City of Buenos Aires, as it transpired - after having suffered two heart attacks.


Look also

The outrageous explanation of the owner of the San Miguel bar: "Nothing serious happened, the girl caught fire"

Source: clarin

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