Firefighters struggle to contain Jerusalem blaze

July 15, 2012 16:58

Nearly 10 lightly injured, including firefighter, in blaze threatening Mevaseret Zion neighborhood; fire started in 3 locations.

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Jerusalem fire

Jerusalem fire 370. (photo credit: Melanie Lidman)

A large fire erupted outside Jerusalem on Sunday, forcing large number of firefighting crews to rush to the area in an attempt to contain the blaze. Firefighters gained partial control over the blaze after hours of activity during one of Israel's hottest days of the year, with temperatures reaching a high of 34 degrees (93.2 degrees Farenheit) in Jerusalem. Around ten people were lightly injured as a result of the blaze, including one firefighter.

Thirty-seven firefighting crews, among them around 82 firefighters, as well as five planes were dispatched to the scene to battle the blaze, which threatened nearby homes in Mevaseret Zion and Jerusalem's surrounding environs.

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Around ten civilians were lightly injured from smoke inhalation; Magen David Adom paramedics rushed them via ambulance to nearby hospitals, including Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem and Shaare Zedek Medical Center. In addition, a firefighter suffered light injures after falling from his ladder.

A Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund official said the biggest fear right now is the wind, which is blowing to the south-east, threatening the Ein Hemed neighborhood of Mevaseret Zion.

The fire started in three separate locations.

The KKL-JNF official also said that on Saturday a fire was started in the same spot in the Ein Hemed neighborhood.

In early July, Police arrested two Palestinians suspects from the village of Katanna in connection with the large fire that raced through the wadis near Jerusalem two weeks earlier.

Firefighters and police had immediately suspected that the part of that fire that started near Ma’aleh Hahamisha was the result of arson.

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