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House fire kills mother and daughter in Tel Aviv

February 18, 2013 12:52

Fire likely caused by reading lamp that fell on mattress; Firefighters: Flammable mattresses pose lethal risk.


FIREFIGHTER stands outside an apartment building fire. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

A woman and her daughter were killed in a house fire that broke out in the early hours of Monday morning in the woman’s apartment on Arlozorov Street in Tel Aviv.

Firefighters received a call at 2:50 a.m. that smoke was pouring out of an apartment on the fourth floor of a building on Arlozorov Street. Two fire teams arrived to the scene and kicked open the door, and found one woman lying near the apartment entrance showing no sign of life. Further inside, closer to the mother’s bedroom, they found the elderly woman also showing no signs of life.

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Both women were pronounced dead due to smoke inhalation by Magen David Adom paramedics.

Ran Shemesh, chief fire investigator for the Fire and Rescue Services, said they have determined that the fire was most likely caused by a reading lamp that fell on a mattress in the mother’s room, which quickly caught fire.

Shemesh said the blaze indicates the danger posed by flammable mattresses, which he said have been the cause of fires that have killed six people in Israel so far this year.

Shemesh said imported mattresses are not adequately regulated or inspected and contain materials that are highly flammable and produce a thick, noxious smoke when they catch fire. Also, the air inside the mattresses ensures a continued fuel source for the fires.

Shemesh said the public should keep this danger in mind and make sure that electrical appliances like lamps, laptops, or even cell phone chargers are kept far from the surface of their mattresses.

The public should also purchase smoke detectors for at least their bedrooms, Shemesh said, which could easily save their lives.
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