Man killed in Jerusalem apartment from fire started by space heater

By
March 5, 2014 19:48

Firefighters break down door, find 60 year old burned to death in bed; fire department received no call because fire contained in small unit.

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A Magen David Adom ambulance.

Magen David Adom ambulance 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Firefighters discovered a man dead in bed on Tuesday from a fire likely caused by a space heater in his downtown Jerusalem apartment.

The firefighters responded after numerous reports concerned that the man was not responding to calls or visitors.

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The fire was started by a heater adjacent to his bed that set the bed alight after emitting smoke and toxins throughout the room while the 60-year-old was asleep, according to Kobi Errez, spokesman for the Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services.

“What was interesting was that we didn’t get a call for a fire, because the fire contained itself because the apartment was so small and sealed off that there was little oxygen,” said Errez.

“We got the call [because friends] were concerned for his life.”

The first responders broke down the door and found the unidentified man in his bed, badly burned, Errez said.

“He likely died in his sleep from the smoke inhalation and probably didn’t feel anything,” he said.

“If he was awake and saw the fire and smoke, obviously he would have fled and wouldn’t still be in bed.”

The fire was small and undetected by neighbors, Errez said.

He went on to cite the death as a cautionary tale for ensuring homes have proper ventilation in case of a fire.

“If smoke was able to get out of the apartment there’s a good chance that a neighbor or firefighters could have saved him before it was too late,” he said.

The man lived alone and police are in the process of notifying his family.

“It’s a very sad story that could have been prevented,” Errez said.


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